Ah yet again I've failed on scaling and rotation. Actually double fail cos I forgot about the rotate/scale around cursor aspect as well. Gotta stop writing posts at 3 in the morning.
So yes that mode 2 would be just for translation then.
I take your point on the start/end brush thing but the Photoshop analogy was more to highlight the two differences of mode 2 vs mode 1, being that the selected tool stays in use till a different one is chosen, and operations are just a single click/drag.
I think we're basically on the same page now anyway.
Your idea on the double T mode sounds good, so long as it doesn't negatively impact users who like the system the way it is I guess. I wouldn't want to take responsibility for that. Worse case you could just assign it another key.
I'll let you deal with the implementation details though as my attempts haven't been too well thought out.
Thanks for considering these ideas.
What would you like to see in future versions of the editor?