I totally agree with you on the standing thing. I know that I have read you expend more energy standing, and that you should stay in the saddle, but every time I try that I end up pulling up on the handlebars and pull the front wheel right off the ground, fall over and crash. At least when I stand, I seem to keep the weight evenly distributed between the front and rear wheels. Occationally the rear will spin out on really steep hills.
I know it is probably not the best way to do it but it is the only way I can get up sometimes.