National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC, see www.nscc.org.uk) launched the NSCC No Retention Policy on 16 February 2011 - see press release below.
All good stuff of course, retention is long overdue an overhaul. Maybe one day we will be defect free, rending all of this debate redundant. If not, contractors will actually do what they promised they would do in accordance with the terms of the contract in the first place (ie fix the defect in a timely manner, assuming of course it is indeed a defect!). Finally, if all else fails, in many instances the cost effective provision seems to be have a retention bond in place to call off. The old fashioned method of tying up retention monies for long periods of time often at a level that is greater than the profit to be gained in delivering the works is crazy, especially as the money is only intended to act as an 'incentive' or 'stick' for the contractor to correct and only therefore only needed towards the end of construction. If you absolutely must have retention, have a look at NEC3 ECC Option X16 which provides for a retention free amount.
My preference is the 1st 2 outcomes, anything else is waste, costs money and gets us pretty well nowhere as an industry.