Thanks for your thoughts and suggestion on the clustering. We're waiting for the Interbrand 2006 to come out before doing a recalculation, yet I was thinking to group by category or (as you say) cluster. Your comment clinches it.
In this context, we may actually extend the list beyond those Interbrand lists (as there are brands which are not even featured in the Interbrand list who are extremely relevant online).
As for the use of language, I fully agree with your point and have debated whether to use s#8ks as a parameter or not (every time I read it, it bugs me).
However, in contrast to many other variations of the theme we tried (European and American), including or excluding this one does significantly influence rankings, mainly when it comes to US brands.
Perhaps in stead of begging pardon for our "french" we should say "pardon our american" :-)