Here's an update to my previous post about my reservation experience on AA.com.
Nicole Simon informs me, via twitter, that you can VIEW seats while in the selection process.
On the first Select Flights page:
You can View Seats:
Click View Seats:
Look at the little note:
So if you miss this, like I did, when you get farther into the process, you don't see the note or have any way to select a seat. That's still a problem.
They need a step 3.5 - select seats, between step 3 - flight summary and step 4 - payment. A place to select seats. Then, if you don't go through with the payment, remove the seat selection. It's a computer, it should be able to handle it.