This quote comes to mind.
"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts." - Arnold Bennett
You seem to have a few issues with a few of the GUI changes with DNN itself and also of this site. Across the DNN ecosystem there will be many views both positive and negative although I personally feel the majority are positive.
Personally I think the persona bar is a step forward, as a lot of the themes/skins that I used in the past caused issues with the various control bar manifestations and have now in general gone away. I believe the interface is cleaner, quicker and less obtrusive, yes it took time to know where to look but once ingrained in our ageing and diminishing brain neurons it starts to become a reflex reaction.
Agreed with the renaming of the forum, I think this was a backward step and took me ages to find and I think brief newcomers will never find and will bounce.
However overall, I feel positive with the changes and more positive moving forward with DNN and will continue to put it as my leading CMS tool.
"He who rejects change is the architect of decay" - Harold Wilson