I found an excellent article by John Wells today in which he discusses why an English spelling reform is hard because of the varieties of English.
In his terminology, I’m a maximalist: If English spelling is reformed, I think it’s important to keep as many words as possible distinct in writing, even if it means spelling will never be really easy. Keeping only distinctions made by all speakers would make the written language unnecessarily hard to understand. But the consequence of this is of course that it will never be reformed. 🙁