I'm glad this is still listed in the "under review" section. I'm with you on this! It would really simplify life for those of us who have a hundred or more static pages to put up, and would soften the impatience of data entry personnel.
Autopopulating menu link properties based on content properties
I do have a bit more functionality I'd like to suggest as my vision for how this would flesh out: creating the link from the content creation screen would also allow you to autopopulate the menulink options with stuff from the piece of content you're in the process of creating. For instance, it could autopopulate the name of the menu item and the alias of the menu item with the name and alias you've just typed in for the content item, and security settings could also be autopopulated from the article's security settings. Once autopopulated, you could type something else in its place, but 9 times out of 10 you wouldn't need to do that as the two are normally the same. This autopopulation of menu link properties could happen when you check a check box for creating a menu link; if unchecked, perhaps the properties would be hidden or else inactivated and greyed out.
Template selection for menu link
The same screen location where the menu is created could also have a drop down with which you could pick the template to use for that item as well.
These changes (or reincarnation, in the case of the menu link creation) would really speed up the creation of sites that have a lot of static pages! Maybe some of this is still in there, and I just haven't seen it. The menu link disappearance from 1.0 to 1.5 has been a particularly difficult loss for me.