Here is a quicker way to publish item with subitems. Usually when I try to access the publish menu dropdown it takes a while depending on what is happening on the dev boxes. I know this is not much of an improvement but its definitely quicker. Typically it takes 3 clicks to reach the menu item as shown below.
Here is how you can improve that.
Step 1: Change db to core
Step 2: Navigate to /sitecore/content/Applications/Content Editor/Ribbons/Chunks/Publish
Step 3: Right click and insert from template on the Publish item
Step 4: Select /sitecore/templates/System/Ribbon/Large Button template and name it Publish Item (you can name it as you please)
Step 5: Enter the following values in the corresponding fields as shown in the screenshot for the newly created item.
Header: Publish Item
Icon: Network/16×16/earth_add.png ( you can pick what you like)
Tooltip: Publish the item with subitems
Step 6: Switch back to Master db.
Step 7: Access the newly created item under the publish ribbon.
Step 8: This brings up the same dialog as the publish item menu in the publish dropdown.