Because we want it to work without a full page refresh... you might not agree, and I understand that, but we are currently set on our ajax-style paging.
I actually meant with regards to the current C9, but in general for the ajax, you can do more nasty things.
Make the link a normal link, but add an onclick event. In the onclick event test if the left mouse button was clicked. If so, fire the ajax request and cancel the event bubble from moving the location elsewhere. If any button other than the left button was pressed, do nothing.
This means that a left click ajax-gets the page, and a middle and right click does the default, i.e. brings up the "Right click-link" menu, or open in a new tab respectively.
This will also work by default for search engines and no-scripting browsers.