I wonder, would it create an issue to have a single hot key that could be configured by a user, for 1 or 2 uses? If I recall correctly, that is what the Cowon X5s have. And it's a way to meet some expressed need without, perhaps, mucking things up too much--also, it's a way to personalize one's player to one's own needs, to a degree.
Of course, if it would muck things up or if keys/key combinations just aren't available, sod on that . . . .