I bought the Premium Advanced Post Types Order plugin and it's excellent! Enabled the post thumbnails for easier post archives and category sorting.
Created individual category sort lists to match my menu structure; simply create a new sort list for each category, filter the posts on that category and drag the posts to the new arrangement.
It's increased my page views and time-on-site now that visitors can see multipart articles in logical order. I also used it to push less popular articles lower in the list.
My site is now much more user friendly and readable.