Hello finson and welcome to the forum.
Unfortunately this option is not available currently, but as you say it is one option that everyone would use!
Fell free to add a feature request: http://www.qcad.org/bugtracker/
For now this 'workaround' may help, I have used this method many times
1. Design 'empty' text label - e.g. simple rectangle. Place a very small circle (radius 0.01) or a point in the labels center.
2. Create a block from this draft.
3. Place 'Label' blocks into your drawing and select and add your first text.
4. Continue to place and change the text contents, height and angle as needed 'on the fly' as it were.
Hope this helps