I've seen both of those suggestions (reminders, tweaking the date or title). They both are decent workarounds, but neither is quite the solution I'm looking for. Pinning a note (first) and manual ordering (second) would both be very useful for a number of use cases besides the one I mentioned.
Chiming in to say I'd also love to see pinning notes added as a feature. I have project notebooks and I want my notes to sort the notes inside based on update / creation date. I make a master note for every project that has links to important documents, a summary of high level important info, etc that I'd like to always be displayed at the top of the notebook.