just that you're overlooking some of the positive aspects of the current hotkey layout
Being the youngest child who grew up in the shadows of older ones, I only bring up negative points
grab/rotate/scale ... are not the only operations that hotkeys are useful for
Sorry. I was pretty confused, it seems. I meant ctrlaltshift for view translations, not SRG for object translations. Hotkeys are very important and that's why I keep whining about them.
Configurable hotkeys could be a solution. Though too much configurability slows down learning (IMHO).
amount of controls that are actually placed on the screen should be kept to a minimum
I agree. Controls should be placed in some common place. Maybe some panel which would update it's contents for every tool in use, list modes, layers etc.
I also like XSI. But it happens to wrestle in a different league than Blender. Using a hotkey per action with XSI's feature set would make it overkill to anyone.
IMHO, programs needs hotkeys only for most used actions/tools/features/whatever. These should stay same or fit to same mindset throughout program. If action is used only once or twice during program usage, it doesn't need a hotkey. Eg. 'quit'. I do use it, but I don't need it.
I think the amount of buttons is the most daunting for new users
Button-load may also make it harder for others. Most of these buttons are not used extensively, some are hardly used more than once during typical work. Maybe settings could be layered, showing the most used first, and then, if user wants to, he/she could dive to the next level.
Material editor seems very nice
I toyed with an idea about having a vertical panel instead of horisontal one for buttonscreens and menus. It would show active tool, possible tool modifiers (like proportional editing) and menus for current mode (eg. model, animate, render and realtime).
And then user could flip through pages of settings for each editable aspect (eg. render), arranged from most-used to least-used. Vertical panel would also free up some screenspace for 4-view -modelling.