I think a t9 launcher makes more sense and is much easier to use. Indeed, reminding all those shortcut codes is not convenient at all. As far as I know there is no t9 launcher for android, so +1 from me for making one :).
I also prefer an app over a widget...
DEVICE: Samsung Galaxy S9300
ROM: Omega V43 JB 2.1.2
Old device: HTC hd2 (leo)
ROM: Android, Hyperdroid CM7 5.9.0
Kernel: Fikret r2.16
Be patient, I'm going to be a doctor
My device is a medical reference