"Unlocking the screen by pressing the power button takes over a second which means I quite often switch it off again before it offers the unlock pattern."
Apparently this is because it's waiting to see if you're going to do a double press, which activates the vlingo voice command stuff. There was someone on xda-developers who was talking about deactivating this, but as it doesn't bother me I haven't kept up with whether they did or not. Might be worth a look there if it's a problem for you.
As for the notification, have you tried NoLED? It's on the market now, might be what you're after.
My only real issue with the phone is the voice commands - the voice dialling (the only bit I ever use) is terrible, at least over bluetooth, compared to the Galaxy S. I often find myself having to cancel it and start again as it tries to ring someone random instead of who I asked for. As this never happened on the old phone I'm pretty sure it's not my speech that's the issue.