First, remember that "simply hovering" IS considered a click by itself in web design. So anything after that is a second click. To suggest otherwise is naive or wishful thinking.
The entire point of WordPress is to make it easy to write.
Well, then please focus more on that and less on the menus. I love the drag and drop loader, though, that's pretty awesome. Btw, can you point me to where the "easy to write" copy is on WordPress? I found tons of plugins and themes that have that marketing copy like "we make it easier for you to write with WordPress", but not so much luck on WordPress.org or .com themselves.
Fundamentally, having plugins/themes add "3 different menus to different sections" of the nav menu is a huge design flaw in the plugins/themes.
For clarification, I know of two: Themes and Plugins, what's the third? In any case, who says it's flawed? I think that it conceptually it makes more sense to have separate menus for these completely different concepts: different in purpose, utility, function, form, business model, economics, execution and amount of time administering. The last one is key. However, assuming you are right (and you probably are), and there is a really great way to combine these concepts, that point is irrelevant to this particular thread.
Having a huge menu with several sections open all the time further detracts from this primary use case.
Causal flaws regarding the establishment of your use case as the "standard candle", I disagree. If you personally can't concentrate with the menu open, close it. I don't have a problem at all getting things done with the menu open. Please remember that the admin area is where some people spend all day working. All day. Not just "writing" like a machine without ever leaving the posts section. I, like a lot of other folks, like to move around a lot and I like to do it quickly. So I don't like having to look for what I need, I want to click once and be there, not hover, scan, click. Hovering is fine on a website, it sucks doing it over and over again in the admin area. It sucks on a PC/Mac, but it sucks even more on an iPad, to the point of being unusable. Go test it yourself, then come back and share your comments, I look forward to your feedback.
The majority of the community uses WordPress to write ...
Are you absolutely sure about that? Sounds like it makes sense when you just say it like that. But let's think about it. Besides the fact that there are no numbers to substantiate your claim, I personally can write even more easily with Microsoft Word, a plain text editor, a loose leaf notebook, sand, a Sharpie, a sparkler (although sand and sparklers aren't good if you want to save what you're writing), or even a block of quartz if I'm thus inclined (admittedly the quartz is probably be more difficult, but imminently longer lasting and more secure than WordPress). But don't take my word for it, let's quote the front page of WordPress.org:
WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.
"Beautiful WEBSITE OR BLOG". WordPress is not Twitter. In your quest for oversimplification you seem to be conveniently forgetting the fact that the WordPress community, and "power users" like me, have come a long way on this journey with WordPress, and us power-users make up the head of the proverbial long-tail and probably carry far more economic weight and network effect. Remember the law of increasing returns? It says that "each new node added to a network increases the value of the network exponentially". Also remember that the "nodes" in WordPress's network is USERS, not blogs or sites, but USERS. And us "power users" are the super-nodes of this network. You wouldn't have the externalities to recruit or attract the rest of the community in the first place. I'm thinking that's worth considering. As for learning curve, how do you think the "rest of the community" actually learns how to use it? Let's get real for a second, I'm good at picking up technical things, but I had to get help with WordPress early on. Who helped me? The power users and developers. The people who were evangelically passionate about the platform. Now I do the same for others. I see how people use WordPress, I recently helped my sister start using it and she is not in technically inclined in the least. The very first things I said was, "Okay, first expand all of your menus, then open my email and start at number one." Now I'll have to modify that to say something like "hover over the side menu options until you find X. Did you find it? Keep hovering it's there."
Also to your point about "being simple to write", I personally chose WP because of the very fact that it's scalable and extensible, AND as of 3.2.1 it's simple to use. WordPress is being architected AND designed with principles that support my use case far more than yours. If you don't agree, then why does multisite exist at all? Why themes? Why plugins? I think it's because these are things that give users whatever environment they want so that they can be at their most creative. You know where I stand on "easy to write".
...not to hunt for settings on different admin pages and tweak options.
Of course not, that would be a strange use of one's time. (Unless you're hover-searching for pages that just might hold the key to your timezone settings and permalink options).
Last Eric, can you tell us how many of the people who constitute the "majority of the community" use WordPress for just "writing" versus company websites, social media marketing, PR, light e-commerce, reviews, domain name sales, ad revenue, affiliate programs, etc. etc. etc. You're going down a slippery slope with your viewpoint, because you're not paying homage to the millions of sites that now use WordPress for much much more than "just blogging". That kind of thinking is going to alienate lots of influential WordPress power users.