SevenWriteZ - My worry with untagged dialogue is whether the reader will be able to keep track of who is talking. At the same time a sparing use of tags looks and reads better for me. Thank you for letting me know I succeeded with the characters.
The addition of the slant-face lines (I refuse to use the term 'Italic' because it's not, really) is intended to bring the story full circle. The writer starts building something out of the conversation he's just had. Plus it adds a bit of metafiction feel.
Unseen - I appreciate your comment. There are a few more of my stories around here somewhere, gathering dust in the corners.