I was hoping this change of staff might bring some new ideas, but it seems their new staff member is already well into the ethos of the org.
"All [the changes] were made with what is best for the user in mind" reads a lot like: We're just doing what's best for you you understand, it's for your own good. There is only one class of "user", so we already understand everything we need to.
Bitter? Not really; I'm benefiting from the freely given work of others and have no right to bitterness or - really - even complaint. If I don't like it, I should fix it or go elsewhere. Since they won't accept changes to fix some of the things I (and some others) need, that means I must go elsewhere or fork. Maintaining a GNOME fork isn't realistic. I'm kind of stuck with "like it or lump it".
My use of GNOME is of no benefit to the GNOME project, so "threatening" to go elsewhere is meaningless and pointless. Why do people think it means something? It's not like they're a customer. I've been on the receiving end of this, and it's a mixture of annoying and laughable to have someone using the work you published for free demand that you change it to fit their needs.
I guess the powerlessness is the frustrating bit, combined with the *removal* of things that *used* to work well. I'm not permitted to fix or add things, can't hope to maintain a fork, and have no way to influence proceedings or convince anyone. So instead I get to learn how much of a step back from GNOME 2 it is to use XFCE.