One way around this has been to use Integrated Texture Shadows; that is where all your lighting and shadowing is done directly in your own shaders so you have absolute control. This is still the most powerful of mechanisms available, but it only works with texture shadows (not stencils) and requires some additional expertise (and often more powerful cards, especially if you're using it to collapse passes right down).
What we really needed was a way to control the additive pass system a little more, for people that wanted the ease of use of auto-additive lighting but who also had some materials that didn't automatically split well. My solution was to add a new option to pass called 'illumination_stage', where you can explicitly assign passes to the 3 categories and not have the pass compilation mess with it. That means, if you know you can do your albedo texturing within the per-light pass (because you have enough spare texture units and the math works), now you can, instead of Ogre trying to insist that your per-light passes only use lighting-related textures (like normal maps). This is an easy way to get specular effects in the auto-additive lighting modes without having to resort to full-on shader based integrated texture shadow modes (see screenshot - that's stencil shadowing).
It was a relatively simple addition but adds another string to the bow of material authors wanting to tweak their lighting modes. The shadows section of the manual is getting quite cluttered now (in Shoggoth) with all the lighting mode options, I might have to reorganise it sometime.