The clipping plane issue is in my view by far one of the worst issues in SU. I want/need to be able to zoom in and work with tiny details like nuts and bolts in the foreground of my view as well as having a low res landscape in the background. Having to use external models or copy entities into temp models is cumbersome and not intuitive at all.
How close you can go to geometry before it gets hidden by the front clipping plane depends on the model boundaries. For small models you can be very close but for physically large models (e.g. those containing an imported DWG with many pages) it becomes a huge nuisance.
Even when editing an individual group or component with the rest of the model hidden the clipping distance is relative to the whole model. If the clipping distance can’t be set to 0, could it at least be relative to the bounds of the active entities when working inside a group/component with the rest of the model hidden? This would solve the clipping plane issues for any properly organized model and allow us to model those nuts and bolts regardless of whether the same model also contains a mountain range.