GIMP applies a floating layer whenever I paste content into a document.
Unlike Photoshop, this requires me to create a new layer each time which is an annoyingly contrived and confusing process.
How can I disable this intermediary and completely unnecessary floating layer stage and simply allow pastes to paste as a new layer by default?
You may use edit → paste as → new layer; that will immediately add the pasted content as a new layer.
You can of course change the shortcut binding of Ctrl + V to call paste as new layer instead of ordinary paste. You can either go through the “traditional” menu shortcut editor, or enable the preferred method of dynamic keyboard shortcuts (edit → preferences → interface, check enable dynamic keyboard shortcuts) – then you can just hover over a menu entry, and press a new shortcut for it, without the hassle of the shortcut editor.