FYI: When I see the portfolios of the average do-it-yourself investor, the answer is usually to go "high yield" with little or no understanding of the risk implications - the main reason being that "bonds are bonds, so I might as well get paid for holding them"...
You're right about this, I see many posters on M* and some here too that are moving into high-yielding bond funds and dividend paying stocks to avoid bond risk. The problem is they do not believe they are increasing risk--or they choose to think that way to justify their actions. I think if investors want to change AA by moving into high-yielding bond funds they should cut back on equity in order to maintain risk profile.
The main thing that strikes me as strange is investors wanting to move out of bonds because of the risk they can clearly see and calculate. Stocks are riskier than bonds, but because stock risk isn't right there on the top of the table investors seem to think it isn't there at all. High quality bonds are not riskier than stocks, not now, not ever. What do investors do when the market drops 50%, they endure it. Now with bonds it's the same thing, only it won't be a 50% drop. Obviously we are going to see inflation rise at some point and we know what it will do to bond funds. The knowing does not increase risk, it decreases risk. So, shorten up the duration and ride it out. If income or lifestyle is effected an investor could ratchet up the risk, but there certainly is no guarantee that will pay, especially in the relatively short term.