Well, on my side, I ended up rolling a whole new admin area. I got too frustrated by the lack of control of the admin as it is.
Don't get me wrong, I love SS and I think it's well-thought (or else I wouldn't be using it), but imho the admin area is just too restrictive. Perfect for entry-level coders, and if you are simply using pages, but as soon as you begin using dataObjects and want particular stuff to happen, there is just not enough control (or not enough doc, maybe).
So I am outputting forms on the front-end that can be seen only by admins, and that's how I deal with everything, until I understand how the cms part works.
I don't really get why the cms works differently than the front-end. When I began with silverstripe, I was impressed by the level of control and the easiness, and I was certain the cms was just a site, only readily available. Turns out everything about the cms works differently, even how it handles template files, etc...Plus the whole "everything-ajaxed" paradigm is just...Ok I guess, but very limiting in certain cases.
I don't mean to bash SS; it is in my opinion, not only the best cms, but virtually the only cms worth looking at (I've worked with drupal, joomla, wordpress, and tried dozens of others). It even stands it's ground against pure frameworks (cakePHP,igniter). I liked symphony cms but it was nowhere as easy to pickup. But the cms part really could do with more work. Or more doc. Or making it more like a normal site, that can be modified like front-end sites.