I agree with your frustration and I feel it too. More than that, NFS can be a security risk. An evil adminstrator with root privileges on a client that mounts your NFS shares can assume any UID on the client and create or modify files as that UID on the server. So, there are plenty things to think about above and beyond file and directory permissions.
I don't know what all your requirements are here, but I wonder if SAMBA is a better option for you? I have also done some experimenting with "shfs" (http://shfs.sourceforge.net/
) -- though I don't really have enough experience with it yet to make informed comments or recommendations. I'd love to hear them if someone out there has some.