So, since I started this thread, I was going to offer the following. However, I realized I wanted to think it through a little better. But, then, several seem to have caught-on to where I was mentally headed. Here it is:
How about this for a start?
Like the device suppliers I mention, create a unique intelligent “house” part-number for KiCad (KPN).
This is just the “part number”:
Ref Designator - (Value/Simple Part Number) - Mounting Type - Footprint - *Optional MPN
Concentrating on the IC first. This KPN would basically just be a “data holder”. The actual symbol and the actual footprint would remain where they are now. The Texas Instruments NE555P and LM555CN Fairchild/ON Semiconductor can both use the same symbol and same footprint.
With intelligent part number creation, the symbol and footprint are specified in the name itself. The MPN in the KPN would be the orderable device number.
Contained inside the “KPN” would be several fields. For example from the TI 555 datasheet:
Package Type Package
MSL Peak Temp
Op Temp (°C) Device Marking
Hope this gets some thoughts generated to help make this happen.