I have two suggestions/requests/enhancements, whatever you want to call them.
The first is with the manipulators (move, rotate, scale). I am learning blender after years of working with Maya, and one thing they have which is super useful are planes associated with the transformation manipulators. These allow you to move, scale, rotate only in certain planes (XY, YZ, XZ). they allow you to move in any of the two axis, without moving in the third axis. If Blender has a way to do this, it is not obvious.
The second are hotkey/shortcuts for entering vertex/edge/face modes while in edit mode. I know there is ctrl+tab to bring up a menu, but that is still too slow. A one key punch is, IMO, much faster. Maya using F10 for vertex, F11 for Edge and F12 for face. There are others but those are the main ones. I believe something like this would help speed things up.
Thank you for taking this into consideration and reading my post.