This has to be the best tip I have found sound far in 2012: How to find the hidden files on Mac OS X
The Mac OS X operating system hides important system files to protect your computer. This is a measure meant to prevent you from modifying files that shouldn’t be modified, or deleting files that your computer needs to run correctly. Occasionally, you may need to find a file that Mac OS X hides. To do this, modify the search parameters in Finder.
Did you know about this? How have I not come across this before!? I have been turning on and off show hidden files using the secrets preference pane. Life just got a little better.