"... systemd isn't a solution for end-users, which is why you don't see any substantial changes. Its a solution for *developers*, freeing them from having to deal with the mountain of hacks, kludges..."
As an end user with desktop, laptop and a home server I notice systemd has proven to be useful. The transition from sysv to systemd in Debian testing was not much fun to experience but the end result is great. I get obviously faster boot times and also faster shutdowns. Occasionally I compile from source and install something I want to run at boot. Getting sysv init scripts just right was not always easy. I expected systemd to be similarly arcane; in fact it is really easy to write a systemd unit file and to add your daemon to the system startup.
For example to add a calibre ebook server to my home server init system I just added the following to /lib/systemd/system/calibre.service and then ran `systemctl enable calibre.service`
I think to any *nix user who has even a rudimentary understanding of how processes are described/presented in *nix and how command line options and arguments are input then this is *very* easy to understand. Just by looking at an existing service file of a familiar application you can understand how to integrate something new. It's all there in plain text. That feels very unix-like to me.
Anyway I'm fine with systemd. I hated it for a little while while running a testing system which was gradually moving from sysv to systemd but now I really can't complain.
And to any whiners: it's free software so the answer is not to complain but to contribute to an alternative or even just continue to use an OS which allows you to choose something else. Gentoo and Funtoo come to mind and would seem to be ideal for people who are insufferably picky and always right (no offence to gentoo or funtoo, I like them a lot, but I think I would enjoy watching people who are never, ever wrong and always know exactly what they need trying them out).