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If someone can think of a 'better' design they should put a design document on the wiki so it can be discussed. Wouldn't that be a good starting point?
I agree that laying it out on paper first is important, but a very large part of a good menuing system is "how does it feel when using it?"
Regarding the menu layout, wasn't it the plan that after the introduction of the (no longer not so) new menu/settings handling code (or was it the root menu?), there would be some layout changes, in particular regarding the settings menus, which were moved down in a bit? Not much of that happened... (And no, I don't know what the plan was.)
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