I've just committed a patch to stop "from pylab import *" from overriding Python builtin functions like min() and max().
Spurred on by the potential of matplotlib included in the Enthought Edition of Python, I've gone ahead and added the following lines to pylab.py in CVS:
min = __builtin__.min
max = __builtin__.max
sum = __builtin__.sum
round = __builtin__.round
abs = __builtin__.abs
Although I didn't do anything about it, and without having thought about it deeply, I like Norbert Nemec's idea of introducing __round__ (and __min__, __max__, and __sum__ for sequences) methods into standard Python, thus eliminating the need for functions in numpy/numarray to accomplish these same tasks. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to get into this right now. (This approach would also ask numpy/numarray to eliminate their abs() function in favor of implementing an __abs__() method on array types.)