Then I think the whole imperial build queue has only one goal: reduce the source of micromanagement. But is it the right solution? The bad thing is not the source of micromanagement (having infractucture), but the fact that it is no fun to manage that infrastructure.
Still, some of the infracture is no fun to manage because these building doesn't provide new gameplay elements: a library in a civ game doesn't add anything to the gameplay, it takes an elements (research done in a city) and change it a little (+50%). There is nothing new with 6 research point from 4 research points. I think all those building that simply modify a value should be abstracted in a number (like 5 research labs units). Tech that would enable more research would simply rise max research labs units. The buildings that fit in that category (the way I view it)(overly entensive list, I hope there won't be more than 4 or so):
-labs (+ to research points)
-factories (+ to production points)
-mines (+ to mineral extraction)
-farms (+ to food production)
-recreation centers (+ to happyness)
-military training fields (+ to military units experience)
-courthouse (- to corruption)
-spy agency (+ to spy ops)
-housing (+ to max pop)
-terraforming facility (+ to environnement)
-market (+ to money based economy)
-defence turret (+ to planetary defence)
-temple (+ to relogious anything)
The only reason to have pretty names (temple, colloseum, cathedral, market, banks, stock market, library, university, research center) is to present improvement in a non-abstracted form to make player confortable with the game concept (as in a Sid Meier game). If it is clearly explained somewhere that a "factory unit" (whatever the name) is an improvement to increase your production capacity, everybody is happy. Being abstracted that way (a number) it becomes feasable to devise simple and efficient macromanagement tools (as Stars! autobuild) in queue.
Buildings I don't fit in this category are building that enable new gameplay elements: a shipyard enables you to build (bigger?) interstellar ship, something you couldn't before. A mass driver or stargate (in Stars!) allow you new gameplay possibilities: hurling mineral packets at dangerous speeds or teleporting ships to the other corner of the universe, respectively. In this category, things should not be abstracted in numbers and each building keeps its individuality.
I don't think it is a new idea, it is basically slots (farm, lab, mine...) that can be limited (by focus?) but with infinite slots for not-abstracted-in-numbers, special-gameplay-feature-enabling buildings.
I'd say that the imperial-building-queue scheme is to building micromanagement what the DMCA is to copyright infringement : an easy way to deal with a problem (reduce number of building -- stopping research efforts in encryption reverse engineering) while avoiding to solve the real issue (eliminating the no-fun micromanagement of buildings -- stopping pirates).
To summarise: it is proposal 1a (that I desguise a bit as proposal 2
) and build methodology != 3 (I would go for build method. 1, provided the right macromanagement tools).