Rapid access of transform tools in Viewport

Hi there, I’ve been doing quite a bit of modelling lately and cant help but think that there’s some room for improvement.
Mainly when it comes to fast access to something that gets done in modelling all the time.

Before I get too far, please… if there’s all ready a solution, I’d be happy to find out.

What I find most frustrating in the interface when modelling is that the only way to access the transform handles, the pivot point is through the buttons at the bottom of the interface. Thankfully there is a hotkey for the transform orientation (Alt+Spacebar). It just seems to me that the transform handles should come up automatically when the use hits G, R, or S if the widget display is turned on. Fortunately someone a while ago made an add-on that lets me use Ctrl+Spacebar to bring up the transform handle options in the viewport. Good as it is, it just seems like an unnecessary extra step. Finally the pivot point options, there doesn’t seem to be anyway to change these other than using the buttons. I’m changing it constantly, and having to use the buttons breaks the flow.
These three things (Pivot Point, Transform Handles, and Orientation) I am constantly changing while modelling to suit the current needs of my model. I’m assuming other people modelling do to. I cant see how not. So why not have fast easy way’s to access them so that users can work faster and more efficiently.
Is there a way?
Or is it just me.
Sorry for the ramble.

Create your own shortcuts for toggling on/off each manipulator
File / User Preferences / Input under 3D View / 3D View (Global) add the three options giving whatever shortcut you want

In this example:
Translate manipulator = Cmd+A
Rotate manipulator = Cmd+Alt+A
Scale manipulator = Cmd+Alt+Ctrl+A