I was thinking about it last night before falling asleep, and the more I ponder it, the more it makes sense: Plover itself should be only a translation/dictionary management engine, whose native state is as a draggable status bar with optional invisibility, which can spawn dictionary windows at command, but is otherwise extremely unobtrusive. Every command should be keyboard controlled, with a few optional dialogue boxes for those in need of hand holding.
User editable ini settings, with output options of 1) steno stroke echoed in section of status bar as written, but not stored; translation output to keyboard emulator, 2) steno stroke output to keyboard emulator along with translation in the form of markup, which can be visible or invisible according to the view settings of a yet-to-be-written text editor plugin (Stim at first, though it would be great if this could gain wide acceptance, like HTML), 3) steno strokes output invisibly to user specified file, translation output to keyboard emulator. Realtime linking of the two might be too complicated, but we'll see. Everything relating to translation should be coded into Plover. Everything relating to steno-specific editing should be coded into Stim, which will be a lower priority Vim plugin to aid in steno document composition and CART work.