I never jump into threads like these for obvious reasons, but there is something I would like to point out: in my opinion, long time users like gmknobl and c242 should be cherished, not driven away. When they point the finger and are vocal about being displeased with the current state of affairs, they are only stating what a lot of other users and customers think but don't have the will to say out loud.
These users, on the other hand, truly care. They have remained loyal customers for years, and they care enough to spend time writing a lengthy post and risk being shot down for speaking their mind (as I am doing right now).
It is a fact that Stardock development in Windows customization has been slow in these past couple of years, especially when compared to the first years. Focus has been more on the game development side of the company than on what made Stardock successful since the OS/2 days, and users feel that. They miss Brad's presence, for instance, which was a constant force in these forums (and apparently everywhere else, damn! ) in the days of old.
Speaking as a developer, I fully understand why things are slower. I know resources are limited. I also know how there is much more going on inside a company than users realize.
I also don't like it much when a user pokes my eye with his finger (and it has happened to me plenty of times too, even today!) - but these users do it because they love our products and they want to see us succeed and to continue being successful, not because they take pleasure in shooting us down. Although they can sometimes be a pain in the proverbial bottom , they do and say these things because they care - they would not be here otherwise.
As such, even though the first reaction is to 'push back' (nobody likes being attacked after all), I think the reply should never-the-less be tempered with understanding and patience.
Personally I prefer a thousand times those friends who speak their mind and tell me straight up when I'm wrong than those who act like I can do no wrong (even when they secretly think otherwise).