On the EOS 3, there's 45pt AF, same as the 1-series until the 1DX.
But, there's also the option to limit it to 11 points (with the plus of having spot-linked metering).
And it's this that I use most often, i'm never tracking birds with it so don't need all 45, and I don't mind a bit of focus+recompose if I really have to.
On my 7D, however, there's 19 points, or there's only options for 5 in a +, or 9 in a square.
If there was a way to limit it to centre+4 corners of the diamond, or even centre+8 (four corners of the diamond and 4 on the sides, like a 5D2), then yeah, i'd probably use that occasionally.
Seeing as this is the digital age, how about we just have a "custom AF selection" screen, so we can select/deselect any combination out of the 19/45/61 that we want?