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You obviously don't know this, but if you option (alt) double click on the layer name, the Layer Properties dialog comes up, allowing you to name the layer in a modal dialog. I also find it easier to rename layers this way. A shortcut can also be set up to bring up Properties.
The History of this was that in Photoshop 6 they made it necessary to rename layers only in the layer properties dialog. But they had too many complants, and in 7 the default went back to the way it is now - renaming using the tiny text in the layers panel- so both methods are now available with the Option modifier.
I was not aware of the shortcut you pointed out. However, it doesn't really help. I am trying to rename in the small text box and I often miss. I think it would be worth while to allow me to change the name of the layer in the layer styles dialog that comes up after I have missed.
Yes it would be more logical if ALL layer related variables were held in a single dialog of some sort I agree.