After using this new site for a while I really don't like the new layout, there's too much emphasis on aesthetics and gimmicks. In my humble view, they broke some fundamental rules of form and website design, namely, considering how the end user wants to use the site from a more functional and intuitive perspective: keeping a simple basic structure, and going from there. They have done it the wrong way around. Structurally, the website of old was almost perfect. You'd look at a heading or category and it took you to what you expected. There's also some bad habits of the modern ADHD, sugar infested age, namely, bombarding you with too much information (ie having two sets of comments at the same horizontal level of the page), shortening the maximum comment length, because everything is about a quick fix and no one has an attention span of more than five seconds...
The feed on the front page is annoying too. I preferred it when the emphasis was on the most popular or interesting questions, the sticky ones. Now I have to click around to find them. I'm sure the website is customisable, and maybe I'm too casual a user to have found these options, but nothing is where I'd intuitively expect. So it takes a real act of will to find something. One has to consciously do it, rather than it just being, obviously, there.
Ultimately it seems as if there is much information that is hidden from you. On the old site, you could get a nice overview of everything within the space of a few clicks. Say how your comments were doing over a longer time frame. Here, it's as if, a more limited set of information is imposed upon you. Also, they removed various options with respect to communication with other users, such as the wall, which is pretty unforgivable.
This me rambling. I apologise for not being more positive. There definitely are good aspects to the new site. And I appreciate the need for evolution and to grow.