Well, what's wrong with "archaic Windows" behaviour if it makes life easier - anyhow it is not Windows but Firefox behaviour! Every so often I search for something on eBay. With Firefox on Windows (on RISC OS it is unusably slow) I like the option to click on several items found by my search, wait for them to load and then look through them. With NetSurf I click on one link, have then to iconise the new window or get the search result list one back to top, click on the next etc. It works but is by far less efficient.
If such a option is added to NetSurf with tabbed browsing of if it offers some option to open a link in a window behind the current one I'd be happy!