This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
Even in basic JSP, it was usually possible to omit the scope and have it determined implicitly. EL continues that tradition. While it may make the process of resolving objects slightly less efficient, since multiple scopes have to be searched, the payback is the flexibility of not having to change all your references if the scope needs to be changed.