We have been on every visa under the sun :( I came over on a WHV. Have had two student visas and am now on a graduate 485 visa that expires in June.
I can imagine that it must be terribly hard if you have kids. I know what you mean about sponsorship. Some call it the 'slave' visa. Also, I guess there is always the risk that it could come off the CSOL before you can be sponsored for PR and you are very much at the mercy of your employer.
Cafe/Restaurant Manager was on the State Priority Occupation List (although it was schedule 3), so at least there is still a skills shortage. At least with IELTS and skills assessments done, we will be ready to make an application right away if it ever does make it back on the list. Fingers crossed!