You miss one part, that I'm only going to say once more. I've said it in a billion threads:
We ARE working on the uploader. You will have a new uploader soon... what happened was when we pulled out the old uploader we realised it was tied to a billion things around the site. So we figured might as well do it right, and thusly ripped apart all the media handling on the site.
When it gets finished, there will be a much better media handling everywhere, and included in that will be an awesome uploader.
So we totally know about how bad the uploader sucks, we use the exact same tool to post our videos, except we have to post up to 700mb vids. Thats much slower than what your'e doing.
The .zip upload part though is the only way to go to upload a bunch of photos.