I hadn't thought of the auto-rebuild idea. I think that'll work for the narrow version of my use case. I do like to actually have multiple categories of stuff I want to listen to before my backlog, and I like to mix them up a bit rather than going purely newest first. It's disappointing if I can't have that anymore.

This would also break when using multiple playlists. I listen to some podcasts alone and others with my wife. When switching between playlists, there's no memory of the prior state so I'd start a new podcast rather than resuming the last one I was listening to. This is also an issue when using multiple categories already, so maybe it should be addressed by a separate feature. Perhaps a playlist feature to pick a partially played episode from a category would help. That would roughly emulate the rebuild while keeping the currently playing episode, but would also work when switching playlists.