I really like the way Moodle is going with some of the design, usability, and theme stuff. Boost was exactly what we were looking for and some of the advancements in usability are really helping our teachers and students. I've hated the navigation and administration blocks for many years! I always wanted a single column with no real need for blocks unless it was content/learning related. Boost delivered.
It would appear you were ahead of the times with thinking of organizing the course links and a new dashboard page for course setup.
In an ideal world if I had the coding skills to do so I would make these links and a few other items into a separate "Tab" on the coursepage which would be essentially what I have with other pertinent information for the teacher to track assignments and grading stuff. This separation of management and learning materials makes sense. The fact that the links are organized and visible all at once is also a win for teachers.
This dream of separating the learning materials into one tab and management on another is why I switched up the layout of Fordson in the most recent versions. I suspect at some point I might get the time to work on it and I wanted the theme to be ready with a design that might lend itself to utilizing tabs or a tab like structure. In the meantime, I got some of the initial work done in developing the Course Management toggle. And maybe this is as far as it needs to go at this point so that things can remain simple.