It's my understanding that the dart is the optimized fighter's weapon of choice. In a traditional Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 2nd Edition campaign that's run as much as it can be by the rules-as-written, is the dart really as effective as some claim, or is the dart only effective theoretically, requiring, for instance, several unlikely-to-be-rolled-legitimately ability scores, a liberal reading of the rules for drawing them and closing to melee range, a specific magic item or suite of magic items that the player would hope the DM would provide, or a combination of these and more?
Illustrating the dart's effectiveness—or ineffectiveness—with an experience from an encounter from a published module would be especially welcome.
Note: I was recently reminded again of this apparent rules quirk by comments on an answer to this question. In Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 2nd Edition I played wizards almost exclusively and, honestly, never bothered learning that much about the blood and fury of 2e weapon-based combat. In fact, in the longest-running campaign in which I participated, the other PCs were a paladin and a psion, neither of whom were dart-powered. Thus I never even saw an optimized 2e fighter, but the Internet seems to agree—like here, here, and here—that the lowly dart was his primary weapon.