I agree that the spear shape flying from you toward the one you're striking at is a cosmetic effect, and I did ponder this yesterday while writing one of the earlier posts. It must be cosmetic as it isn't aimed and I agree that it's useful to have clear distinctions on what's aimed and what's not, but... I think that distinction is possible without merging the fire and the person. I can see why it might be beneficial to do so, what with this to me new concept of whether when a spell can have its penetration boosted or not, but I do think (regardless of me considering to let all spells be penetration boost-able) it creates some problems not to have the fire of a creo ignem be the target of the spell - or for that matter with any spell of another Technique/Form that can be used to attack some one directly (next to creo rego is probably the most common). For instance it would make it problematic and artificial if the target is the person, yet having to calculate target-based modifiers such as size or requisites on something else (namely the object created or controlled to cause damage). And the other way around, if the person becomes the target than the spell would logically have to follow guidelines influenced by the person - e.g. size and you couldn't have a generic pilum of fire, but would need one against normal-sized men and yet another if targeting a giant or an elephant...
I know this is small nuance, but it only goes to show that it challenges the logic of the system to have to person be the target rather than the thing used to damage him. I would suggest always keeping the T:Target of a spell the actual thing created, manipulated or controlled, but letting the person it's cast at be the 'second hand target' (which is the idea I was trying to convey testerday), namely someone or something being impacted directly by the spell, though not as its actual T:Target. You might also call the second hand target a 'direct target of intent' - as in the person or object being what the magi wants to do something to, but through the intermediate of a spell that has another T:Target.
Let me attempt to elaborate on the nature of targets and Targets. I'll break the argumetation down to 'T:Targets', 'direct targets of intent', 'indirect targets of intent' and a group with all the remainding spells (which in fact are closest in nature to the first group - but differs in intent).
In a combat between two magi spells such as Arm of the Infant, the Wounds that Weeps, Grip of the Choking Hand, Clenching Grasp of the Crushed Heart, Spasms of the Uncontrolled Hand, Parching Wind (which is a somewhat odd number here), Weight of a Thousand Hells, Mind of the Beast, Blessing of Childlike Bliss, Enslave the Mortal Mind and the Enigma's Gift all have only a T:Target - intentions of the caster and the Form of the spell are identical.
In the same combat spells such as Weaver's Trap of Webs, Mighty Torrent of Water, Broom of the Winds, the Incantation of Lightning, Trap of the Entwining Vines, Coat of Flame, Pilum of Fire, Ball of Abysmal Flame, The Crystal Dart, and Wielding the Invisible Sling all immediately do a focused and direct attack on somene/something and thus they have both a T:Target and a 'direct target of intent'. The T:Target influences the spells' levels and casting totals, while the 'direct target of intent' allows it to be cast un-aimed.
It might be fruitfull to add a third conceptual idea - the 'indirect target of intet' - which might include spells that do not target a person/object directly but strives to have an impact but through the person's surroundings. This might include spells that create something around the person or removes something beneath, which certainly calls for aiming but not for penetration, such as Wall of Living Wood, Circle of Encompassing Flames, Teeth of the Earth Mother, Pit og the Gaping Earth, Stone to Falling Dust, and Creeping Chasm. But the 'indirect targets of intent' might also include area-of-effect spells that permeate a whole area and thus doesn't need to be aimed, but on the other hand needs to penetrate - spells such as Deluge of Rushing and Dashing, Ice of Drowning, Wreaths of Foul Smoke, Charge of the Angry Winds, Rain of Stones and Crest of the Earth Wave.
Finally there are all the spells outside this three-fold definition (actually making it four-fold ) - and probably outside combat. These are the spells that are cast and ony later might, or might not, end up conflicting with someone's MR. This might be spells that create something or spells that animate, change or improve something (that might at some time be used to attack someone with MR or in any other way comes in conflict with a MR, whether in terms of violence or peacefull interactions).
I've never needed to make these cathegories explicit, but the present discussion made me miss it, and I hope they are logical and accessible. Besides touching upon what spells should be aimed - only parts of the third cathegory and not the T:Targets and the 'direct targets of intent' - this model could also be used to discuss what spells can have their penetration boosted.
From our discussion so far, I expect that we have consensus that at least the first cathegory, the T:Targets allow boosting. I also suspect that we might agree that the 'direct targets of intent' might also be boosted. As for the two last I suspect that taking the RAW at face value they cannot be boosted - though of course this is what I will have to ponder in relation to our house rules.