Well, tbh I don't really micro much at all.
I colonize the planet, fill up the queue, set it to 100% manufacturing, and then wait. When the planet's done building and alerts me, I switch it to 100% whatever it's supposed to do. Then I ignore it forever after.
Now, obviously this means no upgrades, but I mod in a change of bonus 5 production from colony capitals to a flat +5 social manufacturing bonus. This 5 social manufacturing is now unaffected by the wheel and always applies. This gives my research and econ worlds a small but constant manu income that can be spent on upgrades.
This way, I have basically zero micro beyond initial planetary setup and the population changeover. On some planets, I don't even bother with 100% manu initially - I just set it to 100% on whatever it's eventually going to use and let it build from the 5 social manufacturing. Every research or econ planet becomes fire-and-forget; I organize it on day 1 and then never, ever return.
And that's from a very minor balance change on 1 building. It also immediately and massively nerfs colony spam, because you don't get the equivalent of 5 free population from every planet anymore. One of the things that makes the player so OP early on using the wheel is that 60% or more of his Raw Production might be coming from the colony capitals.
This is why I don't think the wheel has to go. The economy is hopelessly unbalanced presently in more or less every field; players are achieving insane output levels because they're being given insane bonuses to multiply against each other. Give them reasonable bonuses to play with, and they'll produce reasonable output.
I generally find that the economy goes delinquent somewhere around Tier 3 in the buildings. That's when the player starts to achieve takeoff, and starts outpacing the AI at a geometric rate. This strongly suggests that the fundamentals are fine, since it's working OK prior to T3; it's only then that I start producing Huge hulls with the latest kit on them in 1 turn from every shipyard supported by 1 industrial planet. And the logical place to look for the solution is reducing the bonuses that the player begins to pick up from T3 onwards - the point where the impact of building upgrades begins to accelerate. Kill that acceleration, reduce the bonus offered to 5% or 10% per tier full stop, and you've reduced the mid-to-late game overproduction problem enormously immediately without having to change the production mechanics.
Oh, and for God's sake, nerf adjacency bonuses into the ground. They're ridiculous. 5% per level is too high. It leaves you with limited granular control over the bonuses being contributed by building levels. Set adjacency to 1% per level for everything, and then adjust the levels offered by buildings. This would allow you to use a whole wonderful variety of numbers - still want solar planets to give 10% extra output for each factory they're next to? Give it +10 manu level bonus. Low-adjacency buildings (like the staple factory, research lab etc) should be giving out just 1 or 2% bonus for adjacency, otherwise we end up with the silly situation of putting a factory between 6 other factories being worth more than the factory itself.Adjacency should 'sweeten the pot' - it should allow the micromanager to get maybe an extra 10%-15% total output over the guy who just plps improvements down willy-nilly. At the moment, a well-planned planet might get half it's output from adjacency increases.