"1. Skip most of the hacking, it ruins the atmosphere and gets old fast.
2. Don't get bogged down in opening boxes, etc. Keep the pace going by moving to the next part of the story, there is little pay off for exploring and backtracking is ruined by respawning bad guys.
3. Turn on sub-titles and hit the menu button during the audio playbacks."
1) The hacking adds to the environment, plus mixes up the gameplay a bit. Also, it is a fun minigame!
2) Searching out "madd lootz" is why World Of Warcraft has 10million subscribers. Humans like scavenging.
3) Why ruin the environment with subtitles?
As for your difficulty issues, you might just be crazy.
On the hardest mode the game is ungodly hard. If you found it easy, then maybe you should have gone into the options menu and cranked up the difficulty a notch or two.