I finally cracked and work and switched my environment from GNOME back to ion2. I haven't yet embraced ion3, mostly because my ion2 customisations need to be re-written and I am not too fluent in lua.
With the switch I am also back to konqueror, which, say what you like about KDE, is a remarkable achievement. Interesting and useful konqueror feature of the day: Access keys which are made visible when you toggle the CTRL key. On all the other browsers I've tried, the access keys are activated by ALT+key, and inevitably clash with the browser's own shortcuts.
Whilst I was at it I installed gtk-qt too.
This window management change has re-kindled an interest in implementing my own algorithm. I'm thinking that I may be able to leverage a program called Devil's Pie, written by Ross Burton, who incidentally I met two weeks ago at the Linux Expo.
I have the distinct feeling whilst writing this that nobody really cares about the intricacies of my desktop environment. At least the people who know me don't, so I can't really expect the idle browser to, either. Having invested several minutes to write this, I will stubbornly post it anyway. Rest thankful that I didn't post a screenshot with it.