"Finder view options are stored in the .DS_Store files.
The Default View Options are read and used whenever a new window is created for that directory (whether it's opening a new window from a directory on your desktop or if you held the Command button when double clicking on a directory/folder).
If you are browsing between folders the view style will not modify when you switch folders.
So yes, Mac OS X does have the capability but no, it does act like Windows in that it can change the view style while browsing your file system. The workaround is to hold the Command key when opening a new window. Which is an experience that most most people who didn't use Mac OS 9 and earlier are used to."