I'm surprised no one has mentioned Astute's Illustrator plugins yet. They make my life when working with Illustrator, if not enjoyable, easier.
My favorite is VectorScribe, since it makes the AI bezier pen tool usable. Some details are very similar to Freehand, like you can drag the middle from a live segment to transform it into a curve.
I bought all of their plugins and I can say I couldn't be using Illustrator without those tools.