Much closer to what I wanted than what I was doing, but there are a few caveats. First, drawing markers won't obey snaps, so my results are messier with this approach. Second, I cannot seem to use SHX fonts with this tool. Third, I can't set a rotational value. I was doing my numbers rotated 90 degrees.
However, given the greater ease of use to this tool, I will make this work as best I can.
Maybe I should post these items into the wish list thread and see what the powers-that-be think...
I wonder, is there a way to select a bunch of these numbers and rotate them all by 90 degrees, not all around a central point, but by the center of each text object? Would the transform recorder be used for this?