Minor Changes? Seriously? You've been a Mac user since 1989?
I've been a Mac user only since 2007, Lion is a deal breaker because no Quicktime 7, no Rosetta, & etc.
You'll probably be really surprised to hear that I've been a Mac user since 1985 and I agree with Robert. Lion was disruptive, but far less than I had been prepared for given the early hype and reaction, and not the most disruptive Mac OS release I've gone through. Robert's reaction and yours in combination with your relative experience continue to provide anecdotal confirmation of a theory I've had since shortly after Lion shipped. While there are exceptions in both directions, I've observed that in general people who've been Mac users for a very long time are more blasé about such things than those that have been on the platform for "only" several years. It's precisely because we have that long experience that makes us so. We're used to it and, more importantly, we've learned that even though there may be initial disruption there is usually a long-term payoff if we're willing to accept the changes on their own terms and give them a real chance. Newer people seem to think that disruption is inherently bad. I think universally those people haven't been around long enough to remember that the introduction of the GUI was a disruption - met with much wailing and gnashing of teeth - that we're not likely to see surpassed in scale or long-term benefit for a long time.
That's a perfectly sensible attitude, and anyone who begrudges you that stance is an idiot. Almost as much of an idiot as the people who tell other Mac users that they're wrong for not viewing Lion as a horrible, unredeemable example of Apple having lost their way. Because, to be blunt, being disruptive is Apple's way and has been since the Apple I.
(Sigh) Yeah. Like that. Thank you for providing an example. Do you know what one of the most strident objections to the Mac was in 1984? That it dumbed down computers too much. That it was a lesser machine and Apple was a horrible, evil and stupid company for trying to cater to people who were too stupid to use "real" computers at the expense of those who knew what they were doing. Sound familiar?
Wrong question. With very few exceptions most people I know don't have computers to "use software." We have computers and software in order to accomplish tasks. If we occasionally have to tweak our habits in order to achieve more efficient or more effective ways of accomplishing those tasks, so be it. Most of us aren't using the same software today that we were in 1989 because better software came along and for the most part we've been keeping up to date because there's been benefit to us in doing so.
To respond to the two specific pieces of software you identified....
Statistically, very few people were negatively impacted by the loss of QuickTime (Player) 7. QuickTime itself - the multimedia engine - has gotten more powerful. Most people use the player as a player and the QTX player is just fine for that. But the real problem with complaining about the loss of the QT7 player is that we didn't, in fact, lose it. Behold!
Rosetta is a more complicated situation than most people seem realize. The following facts are not arguable:
1. Apple does not own the important parts of Rosetta. They never did. They were developed by a company called Transitive and licensed by Apple.
2. Perpetual licenses are virtually unheard-of in the computer industry.
3. IBM bought Transitive a while back and made it their policy that they would only license the technology for the purposes of running x86 code on POWER-derived architectures. Exactly the opposite of what Apple needs.
Presuming Apple's deal with Transitive was not one of those one-in-a-million perpetual things, I find it entirely plausible that the license they had - either by date or by version, both of which are common termination conditions - didn't allow them to continue to bundle Rosetta with Lion. It is likely that Apple simply had no choice in the matter.
That said, if they did have a choice it's not clear to me that it would be beneficial for Apple or their stockholders (the constituency that actually matters) or even the mass of users to continue to provide Rosetta anyway. Rosetta was always meant to be a transitional tool, providing a way for users to upgrade to a new and substantially better architecture without having to wait until all of their software had been updated to run on it natively. Five and a half years later Rosetta wasn't a transitional tool any more. It was a crutch for developers who didn't have the expertise or interest necessary to update their software. Yet some of those programs still dominated their respective spaces simply by existing. While Rosetta was around the developers had little incentive to update their products (honestly, a costly proposal) because they still ran fine and while those products remained de facto standards for their markets other developers had little incentive to put the resources into trying to come up with competing products. As a result, in those few spaces, there was stagnation. Rosetta was going to go away eventually, and it was likely going to be just as painful no matter how long Apple waited to do it.