Using the 7 step method:
New Doc (Ctrl-N)
Takes about a second.
My images directory updates just fine without a manual refresh, so that
drops a step.
So you've gone from four steps to six. I know this has disrupted your
accustomed work flow and, until you get used to it, it will seem very
slow to you. However, the actual impact is pretty small. Give it a bit
of time and see if it doesn't become more natural to you. And do make