From my experience, the implicit localhost does not load any of host_vars/localhost.yml or host_vars/localhost/vars.yml.
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This seems to be working as designed and reasonable to me.
I would expect group_vars/all to apply, which I believe it does.
If you'd like to discuss further, perhaps stop by ansible-project list?
Sorry, @mpdehaan, but all group works as expected and no other group works (as expected).
What I expected here was host_vars to apply to implicit localhost host.
It seems like sivel@ansible:devel...sivel:implicit-localhost-hostvars should be enough.
Any reason not to apply that?