Until 2013, I have been using a regular German keyboard layout. Then, I switched to US International with a couple modifications:
I have the compose key on the menu button. That way, I can compose
characters like "ä" with
a. Or the symbol "©" with
If you have your fingers on the home row (asdf and jkl;), which keys are in
easy reach with your little finger?
Caps Lock and
Enter. The problem is
that one needs
Ctrl way more often than
Caps Lock. So I mapped
Ctrl to get a Control key in easy reach. Back in the day, the control
key used to be there by default!
The regular US layout does not have and "ä" or "ß" on the keyboard, one has to
use the compose key to get them. With US International, I can just do
s to get the "ß" character.