As much as I generally avoid complaining, this is absurd. It's almost like you're trying to change the very nature of Slashdot out from under the people that have been reading it for 10 years now. If I wanted 'omg shiny', I wouldn't be here. I go here for reliability.
It's almost like you're trying to get rid of readers, though I'm sure my boss will be overjoyed that the site is basically unusable. Means he'll get more for his money.
UPDATE: I had kdawson and Zonk unchecked in the author's index. Though that leads me to another question: Why is the beta index not honoring my author's index settings?