Also if you have many reports pending the reports page will take more time to load and will consume more resources on the PC of the moderator... and not everybody runs super computers... an Intel Pentium 4 with 2GB of RAM will probably crash when you try to load the report center with 3,000 reports there WITHOUT pagination...
It's not hard to understand really. What Chris is saying is that if an item of content is reported by many users, it displays as one report. So for example if 20 users all report the same post, this will appear as a single report in the report centre.
If you are claiming to have 4000 reports in your report centre (which are unresolved, as they are still there) then that, to me at least, suggests that there is a serious moderation issue going on on your forums as that is 4000 different pieces of content that have been reported. Even for a very big board there shouldn't be 4000 unresolved reports.
So, you may well be insisting that there must be pagination in the reports center but I think you need to justify it more than you have, as the argument is that with efficient moderation it isn't needed.
I think that "might" is an slightly severe understatement.... I think the more apt response is "I agree there is a definite moderation issue, said moderation not being performed for an extended time".
The point being, you should never have let it GET to 4000 entries.
And for the permissions issue... you have to realize.... it has to check permissions for every user that is allowed to perform moderation duties... and not all those users will have the same access to all the same areas. THAT is where the permission issues come in. What it may show for you could be entirely different than what shows for me.