You're absolutely right that modeling specialists are going to use the most efficient methods possible to create their schema. The diagram really is a side-effect of the underlying logic, and outside of our "club" the pictures do nothing to help people understand the domain.
That being said...
I see great value in candy-coated "toys" that lets people experiment with ORM in a game-like fashion. It wouldn't solve the problem of "how do I create a model more efficiently", but it would do great things for the "how do we get more people to use ORM" situation. This is not without its danger, of course... in the programming world, PHP developers tend to be looked down on because they're generally less-educated hackers. It's not to say PHP as a language can't be done well; it's that since PHP is so accessible, it attracts everyone who is kept out by the higher entry barriers of other platforms.
While we don't want ORM to be the PHP of the modeling world, I would argue that we're in danger (at least in my limited social sphere) of being such a small esoteric minority that we border on irrelevance. Sometimes when I'm evangelizing conceptual modeling, the hacker crowd makes me feel a bit like Darth Vader being chewed out by the Admiral at the beginning of Star Wars: "Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerous ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels' hidden fortress..."
Mind you, Vader went on to prove his point.
Still, the very nature of ORM is to make predicate logic easier to understand and to help us better see how aspects of the domain interrelate. In my mind, our focus on tools for productivity ignores the very large task of helping bring conceptual modeling into the mainstream. If the barrier to entry is high, we get a small number of highly educated adherents. We have a great community of experienced professionals who do brilliant work. But for all that brilliance, there's a finite amount of time in the day to build tools and solve the world's problems. We simply need more people!
Along these lines, I've had an idea for a game that teaches basic ORM symbols using colored shapes as your object instances and letting the player go out and gather the shapes as they drop from the sky. The more facts they can populate, the higher their score. Violate a constraint, and it flashes which constraint is violated before penalizing you. In design discussions, I've had some very skeptical students ("ORM could NEVER be fun!!") begging to know when I'd have a prototype for them to play. Even my little sister-in-law wanted to play just based on the idea, and she's as illogical a creature as ever there was.
The game itself isn't modeling. It's just a simple logic game that happens to have ORM symbols. As the game expands and grows, it could eventually show people at the end that they've created and populated a database. It's my subversive attempt at getting people interested in computer science who would otherwise be turned off at the "geek" label. If it happens to bring a little more rationality into the non-CS world, it'd be a happy side effect.
Hydrogen is a light, odorless gas, which, given enough time, thinks about itself.