systemd insists on binary logs
My understanding is that SystemD makes binary logs for its own purposes, and that the binary features include indexes so it can very quickly answer queries like "what were the last ten things logged by Apache?"
However, SystemD permits continuing to run a time-tested conventional log daemon. The current recommended way to get network logging is to run rsyslog.
Some hard-core SystemD haters are still not happy, because the log events flow through SystemD on their way to the conventional log daemon.
takes over vast chunks of functionality that it has no business touching
I'm not certain this really is the case. SystemD is a collection of services, and each one has a specific area of concern. The actual technical analyses I have read suggest that the basic design of SystemD is sound, and that it is doing things that people want to be done. For example, SystemD allows the graphics system (X.org) to run as a non-root user.
One criticism of SystemD that may have some validity: that the only documentation is whatever the source code contains this week. SystemD is being developed at a rapid pace and documentation may be suffering. This is one reason I am glad for projects like UselessD... they will force the SystemD interface to settle down a bit and be documented a bit better.
But I'll say it again: from what I have read (in technical analyses) the basic design of SystemD seems to be sound. The Debian technical committee that evaluated the situation concluded that SystemD was the best choice for Debian. (Then the politics blew up but that's another story.) Do you think that the Debian technical committee spent months evaluating SystemD and were just wrong about it? (That's not to say that SystemD is perfect. But something can be imperfect and still be the best choice for the future.)
makes it basically impossible to debug problems
I will not comment on this because I have no experience with SystemD yet. I have seen comments like this multiple times.
Perhaps, even if SystemD is the future, it should be adopted slowly and carefully in the present. Debian "jessie" has SystemD as optional which seems like a very good thing to me.
 I think that's probably an overreaction... if Red Hat can't get SystemD to reliably pass through log events, that would imply a level of brokenness that would preclude the widespread adoption that seems to be taking place.