Help with user camera navigation

I am working on modeling some interior environments by creating an object (e.g. a subdivided cube) and flipping the normals to make a simple room. I have noticed that the closer my POV (when moving the user camera around) is to the object center, the less effective my mouse movements become in moving the user camera. This is acceptable for exterior modeling, but when
I’m inside an object it’s quite annoying. Is there a way I can turn this off?

This seems to be tied directly to the zoom function – if I zoom in all the way then I can’t pan at all. It appears that this is a literal “zoom” and not a trucking move like in other 3d apps, am I right? My current workaround is to use the zoom to get as close as I can, then rotate the view 90 degrees so I can use ctrl+mousewheel to move the camera close enough to the verts I want to work on. Is there a better way?

You can use the actual renering camera (just hit 0 on the numpad, and then hit F to fly), or you can just make everything bigger.

After selecting an object / vertex …etc , try pressing NUMPAD-{.} (period/DEL), (view/ view selected). That seems to reset the camera controls.