I couldn't agree more with the point Simon made about discoverability and
the workflow optimisation should take second place in this situation,

But isn't discoverability *part* of the workflow? I mean yes, it would be tricker to find the dialog, and therefore affect workflow in a negative way. But once you find it, you will have better workflow *each time* you create a new layer. Since learning that there exists a dialog is made once, while creating layers is done indefinitly, changing the bahavior is a gain seen from a workflow perspective.

It is a tough burden to require usability testing to prove every suggested
change but in this there effectively has been a substantial body of
testing already.

I'm sorry but I quite new to these lists, but what substanitial testing are you refering to?

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