We have had endless discussions about this in the new page patrol community. Basically there is a divide between those who think it important to communicate with people as quickly as possible so they have a chance to fix things before they log off and people such as myself who think that this drives people away. So before we try to make people more aware that they are dealing with a newbie it would help if we had some neutral independent research that indicated which position is more grounded in reality. Simply making it clearer to patrollers that they are dealing with newbies is solving a non problem, we know the difference between newbies and regulars, we just disagree as to the best way to handle newbies. Investing in software to tell patrollers when they are dealing with newbies is unlikely to help, in fact I would be willing to bet that one of the criticisms will be from patrollers saying that it isn't doing that job as well as they can because it doesn't spot which editors are obviously experienced even if their latest account is not yet auto confirmed.
There is also the issue that some patrollers may not realise how many edit conflicts they cause by templating and categorising articles. Afterall it isn't going to be the templater or categoriser who loses the edit conflict, that is almost guaranteed to be the newbie. Of course this could be resolved by changing the software so that adding a category or template is not treated as conflicting with changing the text.
Re. the edit conflicts happening when a new user is editing:
Can't one add some AJAX to the editor that notifies that one still has the editing window open? Maybe editors could wait to modify work in progress, if they had that indication, and if the content does not seem vandalism?