The continental breakfast seems to be one of those concepts far, far removed from its original source. I've done some research on this topic tonight and made a great deal of headway, thanks to WikiAnswers:
"Question: How did the continental breakfast get its name?
Answer: Because it was continental"
So, assuming the root of this means "from the Continent" and assuming further that, Edith Wharton-style, that equals Europe, it would be a pretty European breakfast, right? So what part of that involves hunching bleary-eyed over a waffle maker, dispensing runny orange juice into a thimble-sized tumbler and reading USA Today with a room full of strangers? I've never been to the continent of Europe, but it sounds kind of stupid to me.