The locked/pinned icons are there regardless of how many unread posts are in the topic. I haven’t even opened this topic, but I can tell it’s locked:
There are posts I haven’t read on this topic yet, but I can still tell it’s pinned:
[quote="Mittineague, post:9, topic:42185"]
IMHO the click isn't any trouble at all
You're right -- opening a thread isn't any trouble. It's the emotional disappointment that "Aw I don't get to read the staff's thoughts on this topic like I thought I would" that is slightly annoying.
Then you’ll like not replying for pinning/closing. Either way you can tell if the topic is locked/pinned or has new replies, but only with not replying for pinning/closing can you tell at a glance if the latest post is an admins’ thoughts on the topic. With replies you can’t tell if the final post by an admin is the thread being locked or an actual response.
I know the feel – I watch every single category on the Discourse forum I use.