Ability to use and monitor LOCK status

However, that still looks to me like "Users can only ask that
domains be locked." Unless you are claiming that users can
send the lock request directly to the registry, and monitor
its status.

Only a registrar can send commands directly the registry.

Different registrars offer different services. Most are now offering
the ability for customer to put a name on Lock, and remove a name from
lock using the normal online maintenance tools.

The status of LOCK is published in the Registry WHOIS service, although
this display is not in real-time (ie believe it is updated once a day).

Registrars have real-time access to the lock status of a name under
their management.