I am wondering the same thing as the OP, and while I think you are generally right, tenth8sphere, my curiosity stems from a desire to move closer to my family. I didn't think it'd be a problem when I chose to go to my current school (which I love, by the way), but due to unfortunate changes in circumstance, I think i won't be able to forgive myself if I don't move home.
There are 2 T14 schools near my family, so I'm wondering what it might take to transfer from a T25 to a T14. Of course, I will likely transfer anyway if things don't improve even if I can't get into a higher ranked school (there are some great top 100 schools in the area), but obviously I'd like to go to the "best" school I am eligible to attend. From websites, I see that many T14 schools say that they accept students from top 5-10% of the class- is that right for T25 schools?
Thanks so much, and good luck to everyone.