I wrote 880 words this afternoon, so I get to post to LJ as a reward. Yay!
Sorting is a bad, bad thing. Hogwarts sorting, that is, not, say, sorting out all the videotapes stacked around your television or the comic books piled up on the coffee table.
Sorting is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If somebody says, hey, you got put in Hufflepuff because you're a little slow and dull, but dedicated and loyal, you're going to believe that, whether or not it's entirely true. If somebody says, hey, all Slytherins are sneaky and faintly evil, and everybody treats you as though you're sneaky and faintly evil, you'll become sneaky and faintly evil.
Sorting discourages diversity. Is it really good for you to be around a bunch of other people with the same strong traits as you? Wouldn't you end up killing each other eventually? A more even spread of personality types is more healthy, IMEO.
Sorting is a permanent record. Or is it? In fic, the house you're sorted into seems to follow you around for the rest of your life. But I'm not sure that there's evidence of that in the books. I certainly hope it's not true. Otherwise, it's like the whole course of your life is determined by a ratty old hat when you're eleven years old. And that would suck.
That said, it's a lot of fun to sit around in the pub and sort folks from your fave books and movies into houses. Luke Skywalker? Hufflepuff. Qui-Gon Jinn? Slytherin.
Since I'm blathering about Sorting anyhow, I might as well go on about Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs. I am a Four Houses proponent. I know a lot of people place them all in Gryffindor, but I don't think they all were. Of course, there's no evidence that they were in four different houses, but it has a certain aesthetic symmetry to it.
The main reason they can't be all in Gryffindor is Sirius Black.
"Better Hufflepuff than Slytherin," said Hagrid darkly. "There's not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin." (PS, Chapter 5)
Sirius Black is a wizard whom Hagrid knows personally who went bad. Ergo, Sirius Black was in Slytherin House.
(Of course I don't actually believe that only Slytherins go all Anakin, but Hagrid seems to and that's all that matters for this argument.)
So, James in Gryffindor, Sirius in Slytherin. I would place Remus in Hufflepuff and Peter in Ravenclaw. Since loyalty is a major Huff trait, I don't see how Peter could be one, in the logic of the novels. And as Remus drinks to a Gryffindor victory over Ravenclaw in Quidditch, it's not likely that it's his old house.