Have you tried the new Tabs interface yet? I'm sure you'll either love it or hate it - there doesn't seem to be much in between. The team has just added support for Edit mode, so this might be a good time to give it a try - grab your copy from the Blender Build Bot and let us know what you think!
My opinion? At first try I found the rotated text hard to use, and I had to actively keep reading the labels to find what I needed. I'll give it some time to grow on me before giving a final verdict though!