Even before the re-organization of the admin menu items, I was feeling that we need a quicker way to get to:
1- pending messages
2- pending members
On mobile it's fantastically quick in that the list that shows all your groups has a direct link to pending messages ( one click ).
On Y! you see links for pending members and messages at the top of the browser and I always use those to access needed moderator actions.
I think here - on desktop - we need a one click access to access "pending" and in pending you can tab through to messages/photos/members.
Which is why I think making the distinction between "pending" stuff and the other admin/setting items would be useful on two counts.
I'd go so far as to suggest that owners/mods see active links to the right on the group name/messages breadcrumb trail - on that grey bar - 2 links: one to pending messages direct and one to pending members direct.
In addition to pulling "pending" out of admin and having it be it's own easily accessible area where you can get to pending stuff with one or 2 clicks. Messages with one, members with 2, etc because once you click "pending" you'd get to an area where there are tabs for all the pending items.
The other admin stuff, I actually really like that it's separate and that it takes extra steps to get to. It makes me feel secure that i won't go in to a settings page by accident. I like that extra layer of having to intentionally make a step to go there and for them being grouped together. There are also some menu items that I will hardly ever use, so why see them every day.