That thing where it pops in and out of edit mode when undoing

Is there a way to kill that?
Its driving me nuts.
Not to mention its a bit clunky when working in a larger scene.

Can you make a screencapture because we have no idea what you are talking about ?

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Take the previous way undo worked in 2.7x official releases, compare it to how it works in the 2.8 builds.
That’s what I’m talking about.

There were people complaining about 2.7x undo loosing edit mode steps after quitting to object mode.
That is the reason why it was changed.

You are used to 2.7x. But you can’t deny that 2.8 one is more powerful.
In 2.8, you can still jump directly to initial step before modifications in edit mode by using Undo History under Edit menu.
And it allows to people who wanted to go back to a step in middle of edit mode session to do it.
Maybe an addon could restore the 2.7 way of skipping steps done in edit mode under object mode while pressing Ctrl Z.
But this little annoyance is there for more flexibility.

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This functionallity is not new. It has also been in 2.79, the developers just decided to make it the default behavior. It can be disabled somewhere in the user preferences where is should be listed as “global undo”.

No, global undo is also default in 2.79. It allows to use redo panel.
If it is disabled, redo panel does not work but file takes less space in memory.
So, the only goal of this preference is to gain memory when working on big files at cost of not being able to use redo panel.

Actions done in edit mode was supported by a specific undo history that was forcing you to re-enter edit mode.
But canceling an action in object mode done after an editing session was erasing this edit mode history.
Now, all undo histories were merged into a unique one.