Yes, +1 to the first suggestion.
An alternative, and maybe better, approach would be to just have an option to make pre-roll/post-roll loopable (now pre-roll/post-roll is only valid for first repetition), when recording from Left Locator.
Locators and punchin range could then be untouched. Just preroll/postroll for every loop, if that option is choosen.
Well, the point is to have 2 separate loop ranges: one outer loop range for playing with one inner loop range for recording.
Actually, there’s an old feature request for this here:
Also, there could be visual indicators in the Ruler when Punch-in/out is active (red locator flags), and for Preroll/postroll (another flags in another color) [when recording from Left Locator].
More about that in separate FR here: http://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=228&t=70773
Your second suggestion does not really make sense to me practically. Either you are in recording mode or not. How would pre-record work? But I understand what you’re aiming for. You could solve it by recording into another track with an extended punch-in range. Then adjust your timing/quantize as needed and move it to the intended track.