Agreed, for the most part.
Using the scrollwheel can help alleviate some of the tedium, but the closing of the map app is very tiresome, no doubt about it. Things were a little better on the http://bing.com/maps/explore/ site when you could just recheck previously active searches and map apps.
One also wishes that one could search for Photosynth usernames, photographer's names next to the photo licenses, a brand or model of camera, resolution of photos, terms in the title, description, and tags of synths and panos, etc. when using the Photosynth map app.
Another request that has surfaced multiple times is that when you are signed into Bing Maps with your Windows Live ID, you should be able to see your own synths and panos alone on the map, if you so choose - even the unlisted ones and even if you have multiple accounts.