Ergonomics is an intensely personal matter.
My 7D is much the same in ergonomics and operation. Same buttons in a line, same meter options.
1: There are several other choices for metering. You don't have to use "Evaluative"...
2: For quick access, use the "Q" button on the back, and make the changes using the rear LCD. This isn't perfect, either, though you minimize going back and forth between the viewfinder and top LCD with other buttons. Also, the DOF preview button (or the AF Stop button on Superteles) can be assigned the function to swap AF modes between One Shot and AI Servo. Definitely read about "custom controls" on page 321 of the manual.
3: My 7D doesn't even have the option to update the settings on the fly. While I do find it a pain when the camera sleeps, and then resets to the saved settings in Cx, I think that is a lot better than not knowing what I was going to get the next time I used the camera!
4: no comment
5: I can't imagine a MORE optimal location than under the mode dial! Some things - like the OFF button - I want as far away from the normal shooting controls as possible.