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In a drawing I just roll the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
As far as I can tell, shift-middle mouse zoom will unfortunately only zoom to screen center. I would imagine SW only includes this zoom method as a legacy feature for the minority of people without a mouse wheel.
Mouse wheel zoom is so slow because, unlike any of the other dynamic camera controls, it does not reduce the level of detail. If you work in shaded view mode, as opposed to any of the view modes which draw edges, it will speed things up considerably. Hopefully they've addressed this in 2009.