Understood, actually the loading status in the status bar happens in a seperate thread so you can get on and do your work while it happens. If you have a lot of libraries it can take a few seconds. It works the same way as the vs c++ intellisense scan for new projects.
We purposely have not added upload and compile buttons, library etc to the tool bars and instead used the built in visual studio "Start" commands for the exact reason you describe, Less clutter! but have had a lot of requests for these additional interface controls from newer users, so we can't please everyone all of the time :) Maybe an idea would be to make these things configurable so advanced users, like you, can hide them.
As you know vm only adds two small toolbars to vs. We have really tried to keep the clutter out of the interface and agree with your determination to do the same.
Both vm tool bars (serial and boards) are created as permanent vs tool bars so that if you hide them they will not re-appear the next time you start visual studio. Again this is intentional so that users can avoid the clutter if they like. If you do hide the bars then you will find all of the features are also available on the "Tools>Arduino Menu" so you can still work with arduino when you want to without re-displaying the tool bars. We gave all this a lot of design time thought. If, when an arduino project is not selected, vm hides the bars automatically then the vs tool bars will "jump" about when you open different projects in a vs instance and it will seem messy. So currently I see no better alternative but open to suggestions.
VM will work with arduino 23 and up but it sounds like you have some general issues with arduino that I would like to help with but can not for obvious reasons. I agree that some of the changes for arduino 1.0 didn't really need to happen such as the switch from wprogram.h to arduino.h. That change broke our existing code and all libraries!!
As a die hard vs user I can understand your need to keep your hobby stuff out of the way. There are some things you do/know...
1) "Tools>Addin manager", you can untick (disable) the vm plugin so that it doesn't load when vs starts. You can re-enable it anytime and vm will kick back in without needing to re-start vs.
2) updated: VS keeps many of it's settings based upon the startup path (working directory) specified by the shortcut you click to run vs. It won't help vm because it's startup settings are stored in the .addin xml but it might help you create different setups of vs for other things
I hope all this helps in some way, I don't think your concerns are relevant for new users but certainly very understandable for advanced/heavy vs users. It is useful to have gotten your perspective. Hopefully you see that a huge part of vm's design has been to avoid clutter and slowing down vs.
UPDATE: forgot to say, there will be a version of vm coming soon that will enable you to switch between arduino 23, 10.0 and 1.01 (or any) within the same visual studio session and based upon the project.