I've posted the code and limited (almost no) documentation for a few of the hacks I've whipped up to make life easier over at imagesafari.
Check them out.
This stuff is unsupported, both by me and by the WordPress developers. I'll try to answer what questions I have time for here on the boards, but my time is limited.
I hope someone finds this stuff useful. If I get a minute, I'll toss up the code for the image/thumbnail foo too.