The thing is, at the moment posters can still use the classic system. If you take that away, I'd suddenly expect the quality and quantity of comments to drop. Suddenly the comment threads are likely to be a lot less easy to read.
Like you, I'm more of a reader than a commenter, but if the comment system is fundamentally broken, we both lose.
Perhaps if the corporate masters had been paying attention before, it wouldn't have come to this. I suspect the only reason this thread exists is because people made enough of a noise in the comment threads over the last couple of days.
Yes, it's annoying as hell. Yes it's rendered the site more or less useless for at least the last 48 hours. On the other hand, it's got the attention of the powers that be, even if they are going to completely ignore what's being said and destroy the site anyway. It's forced a response from the top. I doubt we'd have got that without people flooding the comment threads and expressing their displeasure.
The thing is, I rarely post to Slashdot. I've been here since around 2002/2003, and I read massive comment threads regularly.
There's just something about the way comments work that make sense and promote good discussion. From a reader's perspective, you get masses of content presented in a logical, easy to follow way, usually with most of the spam filtered out, and with everything on one page so you don't have to keep clicking to move from page to page. Reading massive discussions here is effortless. I couldn't tell you what it is that makes it good. I just know that it works.
Screwing up the comment system doesn't just cause problems for your contributors. It'll undermine things for your readers as well. Your "audience" won't keep coming back if it's harder to follow the masses of comments. Bear that in mind.
You know what, sod it. I'm going to risk Slashdotting my site because it's relevant. I decided to give Windows 8 a go about two weeks ago because I wanted to A) See whether it was really as bad as everyone makes out, especially as I hated fighting with it on the few occasions I'd been asked to fix a Windows 8 laptop or tablet, and B) have a play with client Hyper-V. Whilst I was at it, I decided to document my experiences. If you want to see my more in-depth opinions, take a look at http://mouseat.co.uk/category/tech/
In short, I've actually spent some time working with this, and trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. I'm not saying that there isn't a better solution than just bringing back the old Start menu. I AM saying that the Start screen as it is now is not a suitable replacement for what we had before on a desktop PC with a keyboard and mouse.
That said, fair play to Microsoft, they certainly have thought through the interface and how it's going to work on a touch screen. The various swipe gestures actually make quite a lot of sense there.