How would you define all the effects - the only way is really that ini file I feel?
As you've said, this really belongs in requests now.
The effects for quick messages would be defined in a "default" settings in the ini file. Anything you typed in real-time would use the default settings, or you could call up the custom messages as desired.
I would think that a good way to enable the "real-time" message entering would be to hit enter when none of the menus were on-screen.