The discussion about label rotation, made me think about the issue of label placement conflict resolution. Mfd 8 dealt with this with a simple layering of labels in the map. So far it seems Mfd 9 is heading the same way. My purpose in bringing this up is to encourage Mfd to lay the groundwork early that allows more creativity and see if the community has any ideas.
Maptext.com might be the best in the business at labeling. ArcGIS has lots of good looking conflict resolution tools on the surface but they don't actually seem to work most of the time. Tools like stacking labels, smaller fonts, leader lines, etc. So the software first tries to label simply. If it cannot fit, it will try stacking or using smaller font, or a leader line based on user settings. It could also prioritize internally within the layer based on a rule associated with a column in the layer like population or size.
It could be the style pane for each label component allows checking options for manipulating labels to squeeze them in and the priority between label components is set by location in the stack of layers in the map. That seems like it is the current path.
Alternatively, what if there was a pane just for labels (or maybe just in the layer pane somehow) that allows prioritizing all the labels in the map. It would allow a dialogue that could allow prioritizing for example 1) country, 2) main rivers, 3) main highways but only label a very small country with the base labeling methods if it doesn't conflict with base labeling method of rivers. This will and should get complicated.
Good labeling is an important component of great cartography. Here's hoping Mfd aims high :-)