controlling borders (axes)

matplotlib.matlab allows control of axis (border) display with
Is finer control offered?
If not, please consider the following an enhancement

I like the behavior of gnuplot,
where borders are encoded in a 12-bit integer.
The bottom four bits control the border for a 2D plot.
            Bit include plot axis/border:
              1 bottom
              2 left
              4 top
              8 right

I find it possible to mimic this using the new
axhline and axvline to a certain extent (but,
e.g., no tics). However a axvline placed at
ymin tends not to display on screen unless linewidth is

Alan Isaac