I'd like all dimensions to update automatically, like the area dimension does. I realize you can use history to get more or less the same result, but it'd be more convenient and reliable to have this feature built-in to dimensions. Probably this feature would require you to define one or more anchor points on an object to which the dimension would refer: for example, the ends of a line for a linear dimension.
That's essentially what turning History on prior to making the dimension does.
The old behavior (pre history enabled dimensions), was to turn on control points for the dimension and include the end of the dimension line when you changed the part, or move the dim control point back to where you want it after the fact.
So if I understand you correctly, you want the History feature automatically on anytime you make a dimension?
I want all dimensions to update automatically like the area dimension does, without requiring me to do or remember anything extra. Ideally selecting the dimension would display the point(s) that anchor it to the object that it measures.