Surgery theory aims to measure the difference between simple homotopy types and diffeomorphism types. In 3 dimensions, geometrization achieves something much more nuanced than that. Still, I wonder whether the surgeons' key problem has been solved. Is every simple homotopy equivalence between smooth, closed 3-manifolds homotopic to a diffeomorphism?
In related vein, it follows from J.H.C. Whitehead's theorem that a map of closed, connected smooth 3-manifolds is a homotopy equivalence if it has degree $\pm 1$ and induces an isomorphism on $\pi_1$. Is there a reasonable criterion for such a homotopy equivalence to be simple? One could, for instance, ask about maps that preserve abelian torsion invariants (e.g. Turaev's).