"I'd really like to see the Direct Modeling tool (Creo Direct) make the existing parametric capability in that tool be something that's also usable (i.e. user interface is fairly simple and understandable and elegant to use, but perhaps doesn't do everything that the high-end Pro version of parametrics does.)"
I would suggest having a look at Creo Direct then - that's exactly what it does, along with providing direct operations, that all allow for a round-trip between Direct and Parametric. Ease of use was the primary design constraint for Creo Direct.
Martin Kemp, PTC