It is just my personal opinion but I think phpMyAdmin would need a virtual user level. Virtual user level would be implemented by using two different accounts for mysql and for phpMyAdmin. This includes the implementation of an administrator web page as well. This optional feature would enable administrators to assign accounts with specific rights that do not just relate to the mysql privilege but rather the entire set of phpMyAdmin functions. For example the administrator wants to allow a friend of his to be able to access and edit specific user’s privilege. The current mySQL privilege set is too broad and can not create subsets. With the virtual account layer we can customize and create an independent protecting layer towards the database. This feature will hopefully increase the use of phpMyAdmin in other applications than database management(Which few people could argue is its main purpose). It could be potentially used whenever information needs to be shared even with the users of the database without jeopardizing the entire integrity and security of the database. Conclusion, the current mySQL privileges are too broad and really good for administrative purposes but I would be glad to see phpMyAdmin to expand its user base.
Example of applications with the virtual layer would be on a shared database. Or for purposes of debugging. The owner of the database can assign to the developer to a limited set of operations without jeopardizing the entire security of the database.
The request is related to my application for GSOC for which I was asked to post this feature request here. I would be glad to get any feedback.