Kurt, some good keyboard acrobatics needed for that maneuver. But no problem for any virtuoso pianist who can span three octaves with one hand.
Nah! It's very easy. Left index finger on the left Command key, right hand on on the backspace key. Press. That moves everything into the trash. With your left index finger already on the Command key, it's a very quick move to just add the Option key with the middle finger, and the Shift key with the third finger since they're already basically hovering over those keys. Right hand is already still over the Backspace key. Press again to empty the trash.
It sounds clumsy when you type out how to do it, but with just a little practice, you'd be surprised how fast it is. I t'wern't kidding about doing both keystrokes in one second.
You can delete files immediately with Terminal:
rm -f (drag file to Terminal window, press return)
To delete folders and their contents:
rm -rf (drag folder to Terminal window, press return)
To restore a file from the Trash, just drag it out of the Trash. Or click it once and hit Command-Backspace. The file will be put back to whatever location it was in before it was in the Trash.
You are correct about moving vs. copying files. Dragging a file from one volume (i.e. disk) to another will make a copy of it. Dragging a file from one location to another on the same volume will move it, except when the user permissions do not allow the original file to be moved (such as applications or system files). Then a copy will be made.
To delete a single item from the Trash, move everything out of the Trash that you don't want deleted, and then empty the Trash. Don't put files in the Trash that you are wanting to keep. Create a "purgatory" folder to stash files that you think you no longer want but can't bring yourself to delete just yet.