Agreed. This is supposed to be a step forward? Somebody forgot that the admin area is a tool, not a playground.
Holy mackerel. I just do not get this often repeated sentiment that "our clients are very confused". Frankly - and this is just my own opinion, mind you - it really sucks for anyone who has ever had the actual pleasure of mollycoddling more than just one client who absolutely insists that WordPress "should be" aesthetically pleasing, 100% compatible, and "just work" right out of the box, on every God-forsaken, two-dollar mobile phone and dollar store tablet under the sun.
WordPress 3.8 administration is a HUGE step forward. My own thoughts are: You can either evolve, or you can dissolve. Well, you could also just wait a few days for those in the community who want to modify things to their own liking (it's a beautiful thing, all you wonderful, code monkey, file hacking, insomnia-fueled, sons-a-snitches... I love you all; wipes tear from eye) to produce some plugins for those who want to tweak whatever it is that doesn't seem to appeal to the masses.
..pulls bicycle helmet down tight and kicks soapbox into the crowd
No, but really.. I gotta' believe there's going to be some talented folks that will contribute a plugin or two if demand is high enough. There always is. :-)