Your comments

Yes, the screen is long, though the column of buttons in the middle should probably be moved elsewhere.  In any case, this shouldn't be a modal window -- it IS the main window.  Perhaps I didn't make this clear -- the package information is shown in a preview pane on the side of the main VIPM window.
It's not the recently installed packages I'm thinking about - more the packages which have been added to the local repository, but have not yet been installed.  It seems that each time I open VIPM there are a new handful, and it can be difficult to keep track of which I've not yet had a look at.

It sounds as though the "date a package has been added to the repository" is what would be useful.  If this date was a column which could be used as the sort criteria, then all of the View options would remain as ways to limit what is shown.