I know about the scale dialogue box and scaling pattern and object independently, but what I would really like is a way to lock a pattern to stay the same size and shape relative to the entire document no matter how big the object it is applied to becomes. As of now it's pretty tedious to do this as far as I can tell.. constantly messing about with the scaling numbers in the scale dialog box. But what if you have two objects and you want them to have the same pattern same size etc even if you size them and move them about? Think about if you're doing cartography and you have that 'swamp' or 'thick granite' symbol and you want the little marsh plants to always stay the same size easily. It's possible right now, but certainly not easy as far as I can tell. The 'scale strokes and effects' option in the preferences doesn't seem to affect patterns, so it's basically down to resizing the object and then guessing what percentage to keep the pattern at. And I really don't want to have to bring up the scale dialog box up just because i want to make one of my objects bigger and don't want it to clash with other similarly patterned ones. Or maybe I'm not using the right program...
Few things that comes to my mind - Disable Transform Pattern Size in the Preferences. The select the object that has this pattern fill and click twice on the pattern swatch. This would reset the pattern fill to its default size. If you find that too big or small, rework on the pattern swatch to get the right size. And next time when you use the Scale dialog, make sure you don't have 'Patterns' checked.
And to change the tile position in any fill - Select the object, press the tilde (~) key and using the selection tool try to move the object a bit. Experiment a bit.
If this doesn't help - please post a snapshot.