I love WordPress the first time I used it which was about two or three years ago. At the time I was looking for something simpler than Movabletype so when I met WP it was love at first sight. What attracted me most was the clean interface, the standards driven mindset and the overall feeling of responsiveness.
However, I ended up with MT in the end because at the time WP didn't provide support for multiple categories without ugly hacks. After this couple of years or so, since my first visit, WP has done well and displays even a new identity (ok, maybe not so new). Problem is I just did a quick visit to the online demo and think the dashboard is overkill.
I really think having WP news in the admin panel is counter-productive, not to say useless. Maybe the first time it might be informative but when I log in what I want to do is to create and edit pages quickly. To keep us informed we have RSS readers, your blog and WP's newsletter among countless of CMS news sites.
But most importantly, is not what I think that matters but what my client does. And WP news is certainly not a feature he would be interested in.
I'm about to take on another project and this time I thought of taking the opportunity of using WP as the backend but having your news integrated is not commercially acceptable, especially if it fills the whole page.
I know everyone asks for more features and what-have-nots but the only feature I would like every single CMS out there to have is to be able to switch on and off features according to your needs. Right now with most CMSs you can do that at a small scale but it would be great to be able to select boxes like post slug, post status, trackbacks, custom fields, etc and preventing them from showing.
All programs get fat sooner or later. It's a matter of fact. People who have been using WP for years will not notice the gradual change. A perfect example is
Microsoft Re-Designs the Ipod Packaging
So now, is there a way to trim some fat and hide the dashboard completely?