Best way to approach mono track + stereo inserts?

Posted this in the Cubase 8 forum a while ago, but no responses. I guess they’re more focused on the new 8 specific stuff there.

So stereo inserts don’t work right on mono tracks (only the left output from the insert works). I’ve given up on understanding why this hasn’t been fixed in the years (decades?) since people have been requesting it and am interested to hear what other people who have run across this issue are doing about it.

I’m aware of three workarounds:

1.) Create an effects group for the stereo inserts (not ideal: adds extra steps and unnecessary complexity/clutter to mixer)

2.) Copy mono audio to stereo track (also bad; extra steps required + possible additional problem described below*)

3.) Always record to stereo tracks, even for mono sources. I suspect this may be the most promising, but I’m wondering about the best way to do it. I definitely don’t want to record L+R channels of audio data (wasteful of space/disk bandwidth) and I think this will still create the following issue:

*extra problem: If MONO inserts are also needed on the stereo track (before the stereo ones), it looks like the insert will NOT sum, process, and output the resulting mono signal to L and R channels. The insert is only applied the the LEFT channel and the RIGHT channel goes through unaffected. This will result in a half-processed signal. I’m aware that I could just use all stereo inserts, but that’s wasting CPU (if the desired plugin even has a stereo version).

So it looks to me like there’s no good solution. Has anyone found a better way?

I just use a mono source with a stereo track because all my plugs are stereo and I don’t have any mono plugs.

I don’t worry about space with today’s hard drives.