Out of interest, what do people think now? They've obviously changed it again, and it's back to pretty much how it was, although with scroll-to-load-more feature sporadically enabled (that may be an HTML5 player thing).
Definitely seems better than when they first changed over to G+ integration. I've actually managed to get away without having to make a Google Plus page for me personally, and just have one under my channels name.
Spam filtering and ASCII art prevention seems to have been tweaked and improved again, but since I'm not a content creator, I don't really know how much of an improvement the back end is when dealing with loads of comments. But on the large channels I watch, spam seems better than it was before the initial change. People have also calmed down - no more Bob!
It also seems to have reduced the amount of "look at my channel" spam that used to be so common, so that's a thumbs up from me!
Still not happy with the sub box they changed at some point last year - I do occasionally miss uploads from the people I subscribe to (I subscribe to quite a few channels - some tech, some not), but it does seem better.
But not perfect. It works better now I've set it to default to "Uploads Only".
I use the HTML5 player by default, and that works good, much better than the flash one - significantly more stable.
Check if you're using the HTML5 player here, you must be logged into YouTube --> YouTube
For those on a slow connection (Richard?), this may be of interest -> YouTube
Still trying to decide if I really like the horizontal style of the "What to Watch" page...