There is a sewing option (in the same menu with pipe). Sewing will build one shape from incident faces. Anyway, the faces individually do not make a bigger face, to say as such, so it does not solve if you want to extrude more faces at once, but if you want to scale more faces uniformly, sewing may be a solution (this happen in the way that OpenCascade handles sewing).
A big interruption for me in those days was Spain's General Strike. Amazingly, things work randomly, but the hardest part was transportation issues, some violence here and there (I donot participate to those acts, but I'm still wondering). This strike was mostly bombarding media in all directions and at least regarding Madrid, the vandalism I found was really pointless.
I was working reviewing how I can handle the UI to be extensible. The single problem is that the solution I thought may duplicate most of the UI code and will render Xaml coding useless (as all Xaml code can be rewritten in C#) so I'm not sure if this is really the solution. Even it will be in this way, I will most likely have to make it hierarchically (like a folder path, where people adds things under: Ribbon/Shapes/Tools/Sewing) and per path node should be defined a factory creator. Anyway I will think more about it, and if I will be blocked I will likely get to look to other area for now.