Thanks for contacting me about this. It's much better to get a chance to respond right away than to respond after seeing a Google Alert or some other third-party mechanism of learning about your blog post and your thoughts on the subject.
I had planned to reply to this last night, but my internet connection was down and Mark beat me to it. It's just as well, since he wrote the parts of the book that you mentioned and responded more eloquently than I think I would have.
In retrospect, having any kind of gender references when using second person is almost certainly doomed to fail. Mark explained the history of that. To be honest, we were all pushing very hard to get this book out quickly for the benefit of TurboGears users and there were definitely some editing mistakes that made it in that we would have preferred to catch before the book went to press.
I suspect that the reason more women don't go into IT has more to do with the (lack of) work/life balance that is common in our field than sexism and gender bias.
The lack of work/life balance is certainly a problem in IT. I've made compromises in my career to ensure a bit of balance.
If it is a lack of work/life balance that keep women away from IT, then it seems like younger women have a lot of foresight. When I was in college, in the increasingly distant early 90s, there were very few women in the computer science program. I can't say what CS programs look like today, but I can say that the open source project mailing lists that I've been on have a very big gender gap. It seems that teen boys are more likely to get involved in open source projects than teen girls.
As you said, though, if teen girls are asked to consider work/life balance, they may very well gain foresight that men don't have or don't consider.
If you tell me a fictional story about John Carter from Mars, it might make my learning experience more interesting and possibly help me remember some details I would otherwise have to look up later, but that's all. If you tell me a true story about your experience, or a colleague's, I get all the benefits of a fictional story, plus I can use it later to explain to my boss or a colleague why this technology is the right answer for us. I think you don't have to be as concerned about inclusiveness with true stories because by their nature you will have a representative sample.
For a great many technical topics, it can be hard to come up with a concise, true story that introduces a concept or technique. Fictional stories are much easier, but still non-trivial.
Have you read any of the Head First books? I also think that Kathy Sierra's work has been a great inspiration to those of us who want to see technical literature become a bit less dull. For the record, I wrote the MochiKit chapters of the book which were likely among the most boring in there... I was just too pressed for time to have the kind of fun with it that I would've liked otherwise...