There's some interesting things that never occurred to me before regarding the more action oriented and faster gameplay as well as the story in RE3 when played like this in story order for the first time.
The pacing and amount of action when going from RE1 to RE3 directly might have felt a lot more jarring then when played in release order. The action and pacing was increased in RE2 a bit and continues to increase in RE3 but when played in release order it all felt pretty natural given the gradual changes over 3 games.
Likewise, the story missing some needed exposition at the beginning of RE3 wasn't so much an issue when played in release order since all that exposition was in RE2.
This is a good read. I haven't read the previous entries yet but i will do that. I had the same idea a couple years ago but it all fell through after playing only Resident Evil 0. I wrote a blog about it too (shameless plug). I'm interested in seeing how our thoughts on it compare!