I've used LaTeX to author something approaching 100 scientific papers, and while I love the equation rendering and the ease of referencing, I dislike in almost equal measure the inability to dictate image locations.
My papers are often (a) short and (b) full of figures. I usually know where I want those images to go, e.g. Fig 1 at the bottom of page 1, etc. I would like to specify this to LaTeX have have the system obey me absolutely, rather than taking my placement instructions as suggestions. I would like LaTeX to wall off the regions I specify, such as the bottom of page 1, and then do its best to flow the text and equation layout around those absolute, non-negotiable constraints.
Many hours of googling has failed to uncover a means to do this; instead I find lots of tricks for increasing how emphatic my "suggestion" is to LaTeX by, say, putting [h] or [h!], or even altering LaTeX's parameters for how important its various layout desiderata are (tolerances of overflow, space around figures etc.). While better than useless, these solutions fall far short of the "do as you are told" imperative I'm seeking. Is it possible?