I think this one may already be in the works and to a certain extent already
in 11.9.2 and above.

Possible features for autostats:

CREATE [CLUSTERED | NONCLUSTERED] INDEX i1 ON t1(c1,c2,c3)
{ WITH [NO] UPDATE [INDEX | ALL ] STATISTICS [ ON (c1,c2,c3)]}

thus requesting the HOUSEKEEPER task gather statistics on all three columns,
or perhaps just c1, c3), the entire index, or not at all.

George