Nice write up Paul. I don’t think I’ve studied it as closely as you and I was critical of the new design when it first appeared. After a few weeks of use though I have to say I’m liking it more and more.
I think I judged it too much on the homepage initially, which as you say is a strange beast, it’s packed so full of content it’s hard to get a handle on the hierarchy. When you get off the homepage and drill down a bit the system really does work.