Why are higher-lane PCIe cards mechanically incompatible with lower-lane slots? For example, why are the x8 slots designed in such a way that an x16 card can not be inserted into them? They could have just left the back of the slot open so that any size card could be inserted. Aren't such devices compatible electrically?
Edit: To those arguing that cards have certain bandwidth expectations, and the mechanical restrictions enforce them: that's not true.
Just because a slot is x16 width, doesn't mean that an x16 card will be able to use 16 lanes: The slot could be x8 electrically, or the number of available lanes can be automatically limited from x16 to x4 because of other PCIe cards inserted into other slots.