Here we are a year later and paperspace/viewports are still proving to be THE most confusing part of AutoCAD. Hands down.
The two fixes listed above are what I have been seeking for days now.
When floors of a house, let's say, are drawn over one another and turned on and off as layers, it's nice to have layouts of each in paper space, ready to print. This can be done with .plt plot files, but i like to be able to thumbnail through my layouts and print at will from the .dwg, rather than keeping a corral of layer plot files on hand.
That explanation sorted it out, and I always like to make a "all on/thawed" state for posterity anyway, so it came in handy.