For what it’s worth, here is a video from Patheos advertising the changes:
Check it out… I think you can drop some comments there.
I understand people have issues, and understand there are still further things to be rolled out, too. I also believe the main motivators for change were that the old site was outdated in design, immensely cluttered, and very slow to load. A lot of the rationale for these decisions will come from increased traffic from a range of devices and screen sizes, so I assume many of these changes will be in that context (though someone stated that what they saw on their mobile device was less than optimal…). That said, mobile formatting is STILL a remaining issue for them to sort, so go figure there.
A lot of decisions were made to reduce clutter and the cramped feel, and the idea is that it is a lot cleaner. Moreover, search functionality is supposedly much better (though I really want in-blog searches to be returned). I wonder if there are more “under the bonnet” improvements than meet the eye.
[UPDATE: I have discussed all of the issues with the powers that be, and of them all: All the stuff about the landing page (old articles, blank placeholder, etc) will resolve out in the next few days. Most of the rest is already in the queue or personal preference. I hope this helps – obviously, the question is which of those points is just personal preference.]