The TV show Lie to Me, a few weeks back (season 2, episode 3 to be exact) decided to take the lies just one step too far -- they showed an iPhone where one of the characters could swipe between SMS notifications.
To the trained eye, of course, it was merely screenshots of standard model text dialogs over the Notes app, with swiping no doubt courtesy of the Photo App, and sound effects added in post. (The whole screen, not just the alert dialog, changed on swipe). However, it shows that even TV now has to work around the vexing lack of great notification handling on the iPhone.
Sci-fi aside, it does show one possible approach. If instead of that nasty little box you had to cancel or reply to immediately, or risk losing forever, Apple let you swipe back to see previous notifications, would that be a good solution? Or are we still holding our breath (and turning ever-bluer) waiting or a Palm webOS- or Google Android-level solution?