Thanks for your reply abmj-jr. I thought that was true ................. but I was told by someone "just take your bag to the gate with you and then if you don't want to be struggle with it, you can just ask for a gate check". I was pretty sure that gate checking was now reserved for the previously mentioned items, and you confirmed this. But if you take your bag along on board and cannot find a place for it to fit the flight attendant will just ramp check it for you anyway, so no need to worry. I do NOT take obnoxiously sized luggage aboard, or try to take more than my "allotment", but I do expect to be able to take what I am permitted on board. As you mention, I have had luggage ramp checked many times on small planes (inter-island Hawaiian flights, short hauls, regional hoppers to Key West, etc.).