Very much like in Autocad, in Archicad the draw order doesn't stick to user definitions either, very often it reorganizes itself after any editing or tab switching, view regeneration..., etc. Objects that I brought to the front are sent to the back on their own and vice versa. It should be more stable. Or maybe layers could work as they do in Photoshop, where layers have a fixed draw order based on their position in the layers list, so that layers that are above in the list have a higher draw order than layers below. Or even better, maybe Archicad could give us more control and let us assign a FIXED draw order for each layer just as we can set element priorities for elements in an entire layer in the Element Priority Column in the Layers Manager. So maybe another column for preferred draw order? It takes a long time to recheck and reorganize, if needed, the draw order in every single layout every time I need to save or redefine a view of it. When working on 15 different stories, this is really a pain and a waste of time.
Disregarding your wish for a moment (I'm sure it has merit), I've never seen the behaviour you describe where draw order changes without user input.
You mention send to back. That is going to the very bottom of the draw order. If you use send backward or bring forward it moves one 'step'. Usually it takes two steps after placing any element to move it in front or behind another element.
Jay, this is not a solution, but I don't know if you are aware of this - if you want to know which Display Order level your element is assigned to, select the element and open the Element Information Palette, which contains this piece of information (Archicad 23 and later).
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If you have 2 objects on the same "level", the one that has a cover fill applied to it will have priority. This sometimes can make one think there is a "randomness" in the visual layering. I lived it as well until I discovered the usefulness of the Element Information.