When I am in a floating desktop environment, particularly on a big enough screen, I prefer to keep raise and focus as separate events.
As to too many windows, yup, there will easily be too many on a single screen if you refuse to make use of multiple workspaces. A tiling window manager almost forces you to make use of multiple workspaces and, if that's not your thing, then tiling window managers cannot be your thing. My tabbed setup mitigates the need for multiple workspaces, but I still definitely use them several times a week.
this operation cannot be bound to a single key as far as I know.
Or, in a tiling window manager it can be an even simpler operation by switching the desktop layout style from tiled to "monocle" or "tabbed" (or whatever else they can be called, different terms and slightly different functions in different window managers), which automatically maximises the currently focused window and leaves the other to the background.
The primary reason I use Win+left/right arrow or quick drag is because being different just for the sake of being different makes it harder to use Windows. It's not quite important enough to sacrifice any precious F-keys to.
Keep in mind that through the likes of KWin and/or Devilspie2 you can set up a lot of auto-placement much the same as you can in your better tiling window managers. You're likely aware, but I've noticed some people mentioning that kind of thing as an advantage when they're just betraying they never thought to try in a regular WM.
Well, this is normally considered a feature, at least by those of use who use floating WMs. Things stay where you put them.
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