People used Gnome 2 and got used to using it for the specific reason that it didn't change much. Over and over again Gnome released update after update and improvement after improvement, but kept the API consistent and did not make any dramatic changes to the UI.
In fact I am willing to bet that the same people crapping all over Gnome now are the same people that crapped all over Gnome for NOT making significant changes in between versions and not keeping up with other desktops.
So it's entirely unsurprising that people that choose to use Gnome 2 for it's stability are not happy with a huge change.
But Gnome devs are still Gnome devs and their attitudes have not changed much since the early Gnome 2 days. So I expect that after the dust settles and Gnome 3 increases in capabilities and saneness that they will be back.