I'd like to rant about this. I too have discovered (and confirmed by an
opened Service Request) that one must reload NETDB.NLM in order for
SYS:ETC\HOSTS file changes to take effect. These seems obsurd! Oddly, I
have seen it occassionally work magically without having reloaded
NETDB.NLM, so there must be some kind of refresh thing (cache?) going on
that is happening.

Common on! There *must* be a way to have NETDB at least re-read the HOSTS
file if not have DNS queries always check the HOSTS file first like most
any other operating system would!