My recollection is that in the gradebook prior to 1.9, I could choose to have any assignment that was hidden in a topic section ALSO be hidden in the gradebook. This was automatic and very good for mature courses that had all assignments included (some of which might be assigned or might not be assigned depending on the needs of the class). You could roll them out topic by topic so as to avoid confusing/overloading students early in the course.
I don't seem to be able to do this in the 1.9 gradebook without a lot of work. I can hide an entire category pretty well (and make sure that doesn't show on the student view, but it still shows in grader view and takes up a lot of space), but I do not want to have to unhide all future assignments in the topic and then unhide them in the gradebook as well! This is a good deal of extra clicking (duplicate effort, for the most part) and I am likely to make errors.
In addition, these automatically hidden assignments should not be part of the grade calculation for the students. There might be additional feature requests on this. I didn't know whether to include them here, or not.