Effectively. In Edit mode you can choose smooth or flat for each face individually; in Object mode whatever you choose will be applied to the whole mesh. If you want to smooth on an edge-by-edge basis instead of face-by-face, you need to have smooth shading on and then use an Edge Spit modifier (possibly combined with Mark Sharp for greater control).
Seems a simple enough script to write:evilgrin:! At the very least though these things should all be in their own tab, not distributed throughout the interface. I’ve done that… but it should be default.