Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.
Alan Bleiweiss: Think about it. What is an archive by definition? It`s not for current offerings. So using the default "archives" path is bad for visitor understanding. And doesn`t help explain within the URL, anything unique or valid about the silo or group from a topic understand ding perspective.
I other words, framework developers are short sighted and don`t respect the real world their business customers live in.
Steve Gerencser: I do tend to end up creating new pages in WordPress for categories. Not so much because of the archive/ page issue, but because the way WordPress is structured it makes it easier to make any needed changes to the category pages rather than have them all based off of archive.php.