It really is the only way to travel. Well it can have its advantages.
You get to get on the plane first so you can have your bags stowed and everyone in their seats before the stampede starts.
You also get fast tracked on arrival at immigration. We were one of the last passengers to leave the plane and one of the first to get to the luggage reclaim.;)
Once we got our suitcases we were pushed straight through and past the bag searchers in the 'anything to declare' bit. Fantastic.
As for the nightmare on the flights themselves? I don't know why I was dreading it so much. We discovered that if you let them stay up late watching the films or playing games they will fall to sleep in their own time and will be tired enough on the second flight to go to sleep and stay asleep until the final landing.
There were people on both of the flights with just one child that was making more noise people than our 4.