Here's my mix: http://www.box.net/shared/xyy1fzue0m
"Walk away from the Scissors Tool with your hands in the air!"
You're certainly not shy of editing things around, and I'm delighted to see someone really pushing this aspect of the production as far as this, because it constitutes a useful test of concept. Your reasoning seems pretty clear and defensible to me: the vocal is the star, so it should get in early and then remain in view as much as possible. It's particularly interesting to hear the song with vocals in the first chorus, because I'd almost certainly have done something with vocals there too, and I'm actually surprised that no-one's tried it before now. However, the outcome of your reasoning is that we end up with a short total duration of 2:20, as you've already mentioned in your post. Although this works for Blur's Song 2, and might indeed be made to work for this song as well, I'm not sure that it's actually playing to the song's strengths -- and might also rub most bands up the wrong way too! "Where's my guitar solo gone?!"
While I agree that the raw multitracks do tread water to some extent at all the moments you've cut, I reckon there's only so far the editing solution will get you in practice.
So if you can't edit, what are the alternatives? Well, my instinct would be to try to make subsidiary hooks out of some of the non-vocal features that are already there, such as the guitar riff in the reintro and the outro solo. I'd also look at possibilities for making more of the backing vocals as a general concept, and get busy trying to re-use hook phrases and ideas from the lead vocal elsewhere in the mix wherever interest appears to dip. I'm not saying I wouldn't do *some* section edits in your position, but it's a question of degree.
Returning to a sonics, the first main thing which hits me is that the guitars all feel too slender, and lack a good deal more power below 1kHz. Remedying this, however, will probably involve reducing the kick energy in the 300-600Hz region to make way, so that things don't start getting too woolly. I like the snare sound you're getting here, although it does feel like the transient is pushed rather too high in the balance. Try rounding it off a bit with a limiter or saturator and see if it sits better that way. The cymbals need a good old helping of compression, in my view, as the low-level detail is getting lost, and the crashes are fading out too quickly. The bass tone has plenty of warmth, but I'd be tempted to give it more midrange to allow it to cut through better on small speakers. (The kick also has trouble competing with the snare on small speakers too, so adding some extra click in the fuller sections would probably be a good idea, even if you want to leave it rounder in the verses.)
Given the focus on the vocal for editing purposes, I was surprised you didn't allow the singer to have a fuller and more involving tone for the verses. Clearly the choruses don't have much room for this kind of sound, but that's no need for the verses to feel at all anaemic. A bit of boost around 2kHz, a more flattering compressor, a hint of stereo width, and some ambience reverb could work wonders in very little time, I reckon. You've maintained the vocal balance well maintained though, as it is, particularly in the choruses, where the lyric intelligibility is great.
Effects are an area which could probably do with a bit more work, I think, because the blend of the drum kit and the mix as a whole isn't terrific, and I suspect that adding more sustain and size-illusion would help further your vision for the track. Overall tonality is a bit thin, and more energy in the general region of 500Hz would help here, as would taming things a bit at 10kHz -- the cymbals in particular are rather sharp for me there. You lose quite a lot of 'air' from the cymbals and vocals in mono, but the guitars don't seem to fare that badly.
You mentioned that you were worried about the low end. This will have been very difficult to judge on the cans and Tapcos, and I'm not sure that typical hi-fi speakers are likely to be any more revealing here -- it's not uncommon for hi-fi equipment to hype the low end. As far as I'm concerned the bottom octaves feel about right to me, especially as there's often a fair bit of variation between different engineers in this respect.
Thanks for posting this mix. Your exploration of the possible edits is very instructive indeed, and although you could do more to inflate the sonics here, you've nonetheless done a good balancing job so far.