Thanks, Jeanne. I know what you're saying, which is why I plan on looking at other meanings and analogies people have attached to the term. I'm willing to bet that there are many people--perhaps even a majority--who immediately think of messy code, poor designs, and any suboptimal technical choice as being "technical debt", just as I had before I started researching this. I think it's useful to have a term for these kinds of deficiencies in a program but I also think it's beneficial to maintain the original metaphor's integrity because we can use it to our advantage, given the right mindset.
subject: Technical Debt: Is it really what you think it is?