9/10 UPDATE: Version 1.0 has been released.
The Enhanced Web Part Settings solution changes the native behavior of the Web Part Properties panel. Normally the panel opens to the right of your web part zone layout. This feature causes the panel to open in a modal window. This style of presentation works better for fixed-width intranet designs where your screen width may be limited. It also helps reduce page scrolling and gives you a cleaner look.
The solution works great with all native and most 3rd party web parts. Some solutions by Roxority are known to cause issues – so I have the solution revert to the non-modal panel for those. If you discover any others, please let me know so I can either fix the issue or exclude them.
Note: This solution is based on the work of jenyayel.
Click here to download the Enhanced Web Part Settings solution for SharePoint 2010. It is a standard WSP and can be deployed via STSADM or PowerShell. It has one site-scoped feature which must be enabled in each site collection where you want to use the functionality.
I hope you find the solution as useful as I have. Enjoy.