The old CSS Menus are greatly missed. I'd love to see them replaced in some form.
Would be interested in looking at a site you have running your solution.
I now have a "standard" CMS core that I use for my sites. The inital task was to create the CSS Menu in DW8 then the rest of the customisation is done in DWCS3.
CSS Menus in DW-CS4 with ADDT-CS4 would be very nice thing to have. I am hoping that the developers have added some new features that will assist in rapid CMS development with DW CS4.
Wollombi: Neither of the sites I've referred to are live at this point, but I'm hoping that one of them will be within the next month, and I'll be happy to share it. I do believe, however, that the solution I've described has the same high overhead you describe. Look for a follow-up post to this in the future.