Let's be clear. Systemd's logs have way way more information. They will not be as easy to use by just reading the stream. 100x as much data will obscure what you are looking for. Your way of working has to change.
Also remember systemd does export to text, you want text you can have text. That's an option. The option isn't being taken away from you.
As for the murphy and ... stuff goes wrong with software. This is heavily used software. I'm not going to defend against silly hypotheticals that are just FUD like weird bugs that appear for no reason.
Virtual machines do figure because most of what you want is inside the VM's systemd not on the hardware's systemd. So hardware failure isn't going to be a problem you boot the image on new hardware.
It isn't just me that's furious. I, at least can appreciate the more useful parts of systemd. I'm not rejecting for the sake of rejection. But take away functions I use every day and replace them with a second-rate black-box substitute and I'll definitely howl.
Lots of functions you use everyday are going to be replaced with stuff that is more full featured but quite different. This is the first of many you'll notice. I'll disagree with you on worse but not o this is a change.
The journalctl mess is essentially an Apple approach. You'll take what we give you and you'll LIKE it. And that's not what people are expecting in Linux.
People have taken the disadvantages of text logs for decades. The other side had to live with it.
As for there not being choice there is choice. There are distributions that use systemd there are ones that don't. That is the difference between Linux and Apple. It stil exists. Systemd is just too low level for it to be easy right now for their to be distributions which are and are not effectually systemd.