Blender material node editor (not cycles)

I’ve been browsing blender wiki page and stumbled across old 2.4 article about brick textures. I really liked old node editor with flat preview in each node (right now there is only sphere previews possible) and, what’s more important, texture nodes right in node space (in current blender version it’s only possible to specify global or brush blender textures and also edit it from the properties panel).
This is how it was:


And this is how it looks now:


The question is, is it possible to return this old style so parameters located inside the texture nodes?
Another problem with current way of working is that when packing node group, for example, and appending it to another project it doesnt grab the textures (only making an empty placeholders in texture slots).

I really liked old node editor with flat preview in each node (right now there is only sphere previews possible)
Just change the material preview to the Flat option


hmm i really like the old method, if i may add to this question, is there an addon to get that effect in cycles aswell?