Like many parts of FileMaker, links to value lists are by an internal id number, not the name. Though your new value list had the same name as the original, it does not have the name id number. This makes it possible to change names without losing connections to them. (Changing the name of your Value list does not cause your layouts to lose the connection to it because of this ID number.)
This is expected behavior. The work around you describe is the correct way to make this type of change.
Could you explain how you imported your value list from a previous file? I am trying to upgrade my runtimes and though I finally figured out how to make the tables all upgrade smoothly, the value lists are not upgrading likely because they are a "list" outside of my db tables. It seems you were successful though can you explain it to me? Did you use a script?
With the exception of very trivial lists like "yes" and "no", I do not use static lists, my value lists are maintained as values from a tables, each with one field because my users grow these lists organically. So, for me, saving and restoring is simply an export-import record operation which makes revision updates trivial. Although it is easy to export a static list, there is no programmetic way that I know of to create a static value list programmatically, so use I use a table.
The organic growth is required because the items tracked are of different sizings, different material, etc.
In short, each time a user adds a new member to a value list, a new record is created and the user supplies the new value list member. Users even add U.S. states as needed, because they have so few (other than California) and each client's state list is unique.
The down side, is that they are obligated to use their values lists forever (formats, spelling errors and all). I warn them to take adding new values seriously and do it right the first time. So far this is working.
Requirements on U.S. states are straighforward: I tell them they will be using these to print mailing labels that the USPS has to read - don't be creative. Other user created value lists are used to generate labels for showrooms, so create a list member that you would want to see in a show room (title, size, material, etc.). These guidelines generally seem to resonate with the users and there have been no problems so far.
Thanks! I was afraid of that, but at least I know what to do. I appreciate the post!