There's a very interesting commentary piece by Gary Kamiya now available on Salon.com entitled "Let us now praise editors". While the public pat-on-the-back for an often-overlooked profession is appreciated, there are a few more important points covered which may interest you.
The first is the question of what editors actually do; not only the specific tasks they perform, but insight into the dynamic, sometimes frustrating, often beautiful, and always sacred relationship they hold with both their writers and their readers. The second is why this matters. The writer take a particularly interesting angle, discussing how unencumbered self-publishing (that is, the blogosphere), while incredibly valuable and powerful, makes good editing that much more important.
Anyway, it's an interesting and entertaining read that I thought you might enjoy. You'll find it here: http://www.salon.com/opinion/kamiya/2007/07/24/editing/