What is the exact url for the action pack download page?
I log in with my firm email address, go to the partner portal and end up at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/ with no way to download my software or find my product keys. I called the partner support and we tried in private and nothing worked. It will take several days to escalate what I think is a problem with the web site.
Isn't there any url that one can go to directly and authenticate to rather than going through the partner portal sign in process?
No, the access is only provided through Partner Center Dashboard.
If https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/dashboard redirects you to the documentation after login, usually the account you are using is not eligible for Partner Center access (Be sure to choose "Organizational account" or "Work account" if you are being asked during the login, not personal account). Also be sure to open a new inprivate session - changing acounts within the same inprivate sessions sometimes also causes issues for dashboard access.
If this all has been checked, I guess unfortunately the onyl option is to wait for the support team's answer.