I'd like a small additional feature:
I'd like to be able to parent an object to a group of vertices (or only one). I just would've liked to animate a mesh using empties - the empties would be parents to some vertices in the mesh, you get the idea I hope.
I know vertices can pe parents to objects but I'd like it the other way around as well.
you can do this (to an extent) with armatures
you would have a bone that is constrained (in some manner) to your object, and would deform those verticies.
the constraint could be location, rotation, or both
(and you can do weight painting on the bone too...)