Steve: You just don't get it. You just don't get it. What I presented was an *argument* against the claim that the argument from appreciation explains why God reprobates some people. A reductio ad absurdum as it were. I elaborated the argument in a comment in response to Bnonn, but let we spell it out here.
1) If Calvinism is true, then God can, by his sovereign will, determine whether there will be reprobates or whether universalism is true. (I don't have to believe that this is sovereignly up to God, but you do).
2) God has selected that there be millions of reprobates.
3) You say Scripture teaches that this choice of a reprobate world is explained by the fact that in a reprobate world the blessed in heaven will appreciate the graciousness of their salvation to a greater extent than in a non-reprobate world.
My claim is that this would not be an explanation. The blessed in heaven have received God's gift of salvation through Christ. They are as open to God's teaching as they can be. God can produce in them all the appreciation he wants to of the graciousness of their salvation without damning anybody. God can show movies of fictitious persons in hell if he wants to, but even that doesn't seem necessary. God, after all, is supposed to be absolutely sovereign. So it stands to reason that God could use a little of that sovereignty to produce whatever appreciation the blessed he might need, even if universalism is true. It is absurd, therefore, to suppose that this "explanation" explains anything. We might, paradoxically, ask the Calvinist "What part of sovereign don't you understand?"
I had been arguing that there is no explanation available to us for God's choice of a reprobate world over a universalist world. By the way, I am not arguing that God couldn't possibly have a reason for reprobating people. What I am saying is that the position requires a mystery maneuver at this point, and that mystery maneuvers are invariable epistemically expensive. If there is a mystery, why not it be in our understanding of the passage (notice I don't even need to break with inerrancy here) rather than in the character of God.
I said nothing about not using the grammatico-historical method. I just said I hoped we could avoid interpretations of Scripture that commit biblical authors to absurd statements. And I gave an argument for why such an explanation would be absurd.
As you rightly point out with the missed plane story, seeing others killed in a plane accident is one way that someone might appreciate their earthly life. But a sovereign God has other ways to of producing in the blessed an appreciation for the graciousness of their salvation, so as an explanation for why God reprobates, it is completely worthless.
Now in fact, you really have to stretch the interpretation of the Romans passage you cite to get an actual teaching of this doctrine. After all, the passage begins with the phrase "What if," and is loaded with figurative language. If any other possible interpretation of the passage can be offered on the basis of exegesis, then that explanation would have to be preferred to this one. In fact, it would be preferable to say that we do not understand the passage than to give it this kind of an interpretation. It's the principle of charity.
Is there a consensus amongst competent exegetes on this passage? Thought not.