Using matplotlib pythonic API


i'm using matplotlib to create plots inside the twisted asynchronous web framework, so i am forced to use the pythonic API to avoid making global calls, however i have 3 questions and would be extremely grateful if anyone could help me out.

1) The online docs say that Figure.__init__ takes a linewidth keyword argument, but it does not. how can i set the linewidth for a figure, and how can i set the fontsize for a figure, without doing weird things like

map( lambda t: t.set_fontsize( 6 ), legend.get_texts() )

2) all of the examples using the pythonic API instantiate a Figure, and then do add_subplot(). this works for me, but matplotlib adds a bunch of space around the figure that i dont need. is there a way around this, or an alternative to add_subplot if i want only one plot?

3) my ticklabels for the X axis happen to be quite lengthy strings, and they overlap if placed horizontally, adjacent to each other. i am using rotation = 45 but then a lot of the text gets clipped off of the bottom of the figure (im setting figsize in the Figure constructor). i am happy with the size of the figure, but would like more space for the text at the bottom.

any help will be greatly appreciated.
Moe Aboulkheir