How about this for a way to tame the tangle of menu bar items — menu bar folders. If such an app exists, I haven’t been able to find it. What I envision is the ability to create folders where you could place your menu bar icons. So instead of having them spread across the top of your screen, they would be bundled together in a few folders that would pop up when you click on them.
It might be tricky, because some icons have submenus of their own, and some only work by dragging-and-dropping to them. Also, it would take away from the immediacy of having the item visible at all times. Still, there might be a creative programmer could come up with a solution that’s both elegant and functional. If such a thing has already be created, be sure to let me know.