Having faster and more powerful saved searches is great, but I wish they worked a little more consistently.
In the Finder, they show up in the sidebar. That’s great, they’re easy to find and access. However, they’re difficult to browse because they only show up in list or icon view. No column/browser view (my preferred way to quickly navigate folders).
Now in Open/Save dialogs, your saved searches don’t show up in the sidebar. Instead you get your media browser (for all those times you want to open an MP3 in Word!). But try this: Navigate to ~/Library/Saved Searches/ in an Open/Save dialog and you will now be able to open/save using items in your saved search. Better yet, they show up in column view.
Now, for your last trick, take any saved search from your Saved Searches folder and drop it onto the sidebar with your other folders in the “Places” section. Now that saved search works just like before, but it is also instantly accessible from open/save dialogs.
Sometimes I feel like Leopard was put together by a committee that had no actual designers or usability experts at the meetings. Just a bunch of random crap thrown on the wall, some of which is great, and some of it is just plain terrible.