I know that this is of limited help...
Just draw an interrupted line along the edge of each part, then use the 2D Contour tool under Finishing. You can set it to offset from the line if you want to. But you knew that.
If you are running a sheet full of the same part and plan to start in a corner, you would only need to program a cut along two sides (the sides away from the starting corner) for each part. If the parts on a sheet are different sizes, you would probably have to cut all the way around. If each part drawing has its own cut lines, you could choose to make a toolpath or not, depending on how you wanted to lay them out.
I would probably just do what you said last, and make the big drawing. I use TurboCAD, so placing and moving items to exactly where I want them is pretty easy. I have seen some programs that make it painful for some reason.
Good luck, and if you figure out a better way, please post it!
- Just Gary