I think the current jurisdictional mess and the division into ethnic enclaves are dangerous trends.
Which is exactly what's happening now.
And I believe will continue to happen as long as the counterforce of immigration exists. Unfailing sociological forces being what they are, one can be sure that within the span of a few generations, assimilation takes over at a strong rate.
Therefore, in order for these divisions to weaken considerably, it is required that a period of time, perhaps a good century, pass without new immigrants being injected into the flocks, while allowing for the forces of assimilation to take over.
Now Serge consistently points out the proper canonical model to be followed and is correct in his calling attention to the Russian mission's primacy (and therefore that of the O.C.A.) in the creation of an American Church. The problem I have with his idea of ethnic congregations is that a new solid jurisdiction must be founded on some sense of uniform homogenous identity; perhaps a concession can be made to create a foundation characterized as an umbrella of different ethnicities, but it wouldn't work out at present given the status quo. Why? Because the forces of assimilation and counter-assimilation I described remain in action and will continue to tug sections of the jurisdiction back and forth. This kind of a volatile situation is not condusive to any sort of unity that an autocephalous jurisdiction requires. Furthermore, friction and power struggles can ensue. Now were there no forces of assimilation to consider, meaning we lived in a U.S. where, without the support of new immigrants, the ethnic communities successfully maintained their cultures and a strong cohesive element generation after generation (and were converts not affecting demographics in some way), then Serge's multi-ethnic jurisdiction would make sense. Also, if immigration were to cease and assimilation allowed to work its way into all the communities along with the catalyst influxes of converts provide, over a period of a hundred years or so, then the stability an American jurisdiction needs would be provided, but as long all the opposing forces I mentioned continue to exist, no finalization of identity (whether solidly multi-ethnic or uniformly American) will exist, and civil wars will continue to shape and mold an American Church in some manner at one time, and another manner the next. The situation will become too unstable and the Church's identity even less clear. There has to be a stabilization within a united American Church, in either the direction of assimilation or that of a strong, solid maintanance of the ethnic communities. A constant flux that keeps changing a jurisdiction's orientation and leaning from one direction to the other will not create a success story.
Now I disagree with Linus, that ethnicity can be reduced simply to a pesky "ethnic club". Ethnicity, or rather a sphere of commonly related ethnicites is an essential component of a Church's identity and forms a good part of its fabric. And I believe two extremes exist and should be avoided. Most certainly "ethnics"--the assimilated kind particularly--can reduce their Churches into social clubs and meeting grounds for their boys and girls at the expense of the substance of the religion itself, and important issues like abortion. Such folks annoy both me and many others. At the same time--and equally annoying--is the opposite extreme: reducing ethnic and cultural identity into a dangerously insignificant factour, and turning a Church into a "religious club" (we're "going to church" suburban mentality) that has no grounding in history, culture, or the traditions that form the customs and practices of Church ritual. Orthodoxy becomes like the Constitution today, a Platonic abstract divorced from the material and substantial casing of culture and history it requires to flourish. The "community" becomes an artificial and crude Hillary-ish "it takes a village" assembly. A balance must be struck between the two extremes.
But Linus is correct in that traditionally jurisdiction is ultimately defined by geographical territory (not politically defined territory however), and not by phyletic nationalism. This has been the case with the Apostolic Sees in the Middle East (Eastern Orthodox). However, I have lately begun to consider a point of view I hadn't before, and will ask Serge for his opinions. Since a new jurisdiction is to be based on territory, rather than national identity, isn't a whole swath of geography like the U.S. enormous for one Orthodox Church? Wouldn't it be more logical to produce a small number of autocephalous Churches in U.S. territory instead (not based on ethnicity)? I ask that while answering you assume that the total number of Orthodox in the U.S. is significantly higher than the aggregate sum today (as the currently small value of this measure is the only reason I see that can permit a Church to have jurisdiction over such a large territory, the same reason why the Melkite Patriarch is responsible for the jurisdiction of three Apostolic Sees, and why his Church is technically one rather than three that stand alongside their three Orthodox counterparts).
In IC XC