When I am working with my tax parcel editing application 99% of my searcehs are tax parcel numbers in the tax parcel layer. The current Find dialog gives us two options: 1) Search through every field in 30+ layers, which is simple, but slow. 2) Find my layer amongst 30+ layers, and optionally set the field to "parcel Identification Number: This makes the search fast, but at the cost of having to set searches up each time.
I think there are two things that ESRI could do to make searches more user friendly.
1) Keep the most resent search layer and field settings saved in the mxd.
2) Add a favorites button to the find menu so people can save their most used searches.