Thanks for the note here, stevie1967, and for taking time to write up this review. I apologize on behalf of the whole team for letting you down with this - it sounds like your biggest point of contention is the update from 1.x to 2.x, and I wanted to shed some light on that for you.
We made a conscious decision to move away from having events as a regular WordPress post, and moved them to their own custom post type instead, based on both feedback from our users and trends in the overall industry. Custom post types were becoming increasingly prominent at the time (and continue to continue on that trend), and the solution of having events as posts felt more hacked together - and gave less flexibility for end users - thank breaking them out as their own post type. We did provide a tutorial/solution for users who wanted to have their events mingle with regular posts, and published that on the tri.be site shortly after launching 2.0...that seemed to solve the problem for any users who were unhappy about the shift, as it essentially got them back to where they had to be.
I can understand how the customization front may have been overwhelming, and we're in the process of restructuring our support docs to give more detail and help for non-technical users. This will coincide with our release of The Events Calendar 3.0 in the next couple months which, while it may not be of much help to you, should make sure others in your position don't feel slighted down the road.
Thanks again for the feedback and for giving the calendar a shot. We apologize for not meeting your expectations here, and wish you the best with whatever calendar solution you decide to go with down the road.