Originally Posted by Novakog
Ali - for viewport updating during playback, try turning off "Hot Scrubbing" in the viewport options ("O" key over a viewport, or the gear button in the top right). That will pretty much completely disable it while playing an animation, and it will lazily update (wait until you stop moving) while scrubbing.
You can scale keys in the graph editor using Ctrl + RMB + Drag, or Shift + RMB + Drag (Ctrl scales based on the end of your selection closest to your mouse, shift scales centered on the key closed to your mouse). It's an omission in the docs of the graph editor, but it's in the docs for the gradient editor (which is mostly the same thing).
I think you're right about the time haul tool being too sensitive, and it would be good to be able to hide it. It would also be good to have a faster way to set a playback range.
Ah thanks Andrew! Hot Scrubbing does what I need.