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Sorry, that last post got mangled. The URL for my paper is
Hi, Bryan, Norm Matloff here. I must respectfully disagree with your post. One should never rely on correlations in small data sets (or tiny ones, as you call your example). Second-order moments are a lot harder to estimate than first-order ones, e.g. the variance of a sample variance is large. The Available Cases method for dealing with missing values, as exemplified in the pairwise.complete.obs option you cite, is a lot more useful than many people realize. It does tacitly make strong assumptions, but so do all of the missing-value methods, including in Amelia. on this topic at the JSM in August, and will release an R package in the next couple of weeks.
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Jun 16, 2015