I was going to post something about host headers in WSS 3. Thinking about it some I guess host headers with wild card is a cool technology that allows you to publish URLs from WSS administration tool, but I can't really see a reason to do this.
My own take on URLs is as follows. WSS Web Sites should be created with IPs and ports of the form http://site:port. You should use DNS mapping to connect the http://site:port to a URL. Why not do this in SharePont? Because I think it defeats the entire purpose of a Enterprise stack. You should be mapping all URL redirects in one place, in the DNS mappings on Windows Server. Why? Because when you want to change a URL or put another site on an existing URL you should be able to do this from one spot, for all HTTP and HTTPS delivered sites.
The entire point of having tiers is to keep all your functions of one kind in one area. For example when I was designing N-tier web sites I often came across the business logic in the application or database layer. I think that looking at this as a technical performance question in most issues is wrong. What I always believed is that you should use the same layer for all or none. I always hated working with a mixture of application business logic in ASP.NET AND TSQL. It is my strong belief that you should do it all on one level or another.
So if you use DNS to manage all your SharePoint sites you can easily change the redirect for a URL to another IP and port. You can also have one area with one expert to manage ALL your URLS running all your Enterprise technology.
The principle as I see it is grouping by function.