I've found that the presence of certain files and directories in Dired buffers is annoying. I spent some time considering adding the ability for certain directories to use my Dired limiting, but found dired-omit-mode instead:

(require 'dired-x)
(setq mak::dired-omit-files
(setq dired-omit-files
      (mapconcat #'identity mak::dired-omit-files "\\|"))
(add-hook 'dired-mode-hook (lambda () (dired-omit-mode)))

Dired omit mode prevents a number of files and directories from being shown by default in Dired. These include revision control directories (e.g., CVS, .git, .svn) and derived files (e.g., .elc, .o). The mode can be disabled in cases where viewing the omitted entries is desirable.

I have also been finding useful the ability to include a subdirectory in the view of its parent. What I've been frustrated by is the inconvenience of its default keybinding: $. I've bound this to <tab> to make it feel more like Org-mode.

(define-key dired-mode-map (kbd "<tab>") 'dired-hide-subdir)