Okay, I finally got around to installing it on a VM instead of just looking at videos. I'm growing to understand the direction they're going in better, though I still would push for some further options and changes.
. . .
Thoughts on how it is now,
* They want the taskbar always there for the same reason the notification area is always visible on a Windows Phone device, so you can always see battery status, time, etc.
* Older style modern apps can be switched to full screen mode easily now that you have a full screen button on the titlebar.
* Notifications flyout comes in from the right just like the W8 flyouts; it doesn't overlap the taskbar because they're thinking of the taskbar like a non-UI area just like on the WP platform.
. . .
Changes they should consider, off the top of my head.
* Every app should be able to set Full Screen. While preserved in older apps, this is disabled in a few newer apps, like Photos and the Windows store -- I don't know why.
* Every app by design should be able to re-flow either vertically or horizontally. The defaults might depend on the screen, window size, whether its full screen. Horizontal scrolling on a widescreen monitor set to landscape mode just makes sense, and feels right. If the same monitor is set to portrait mode, vertical scrolling would make sense and feel right.
* These two things should apply to Start also. You should not only be able to Maximize, but also do Full Screen, and have it switch to horizontal scrolling by default on a widescreen monitor.
* The Places pane should either be able to collapse (with an arrow allowing you to quickly expand it back into place) or be able to be hidden.
* Group titles on full screen make more sense in larger type; it makes it easier to scan.
* All of the apps that can put a status icon on the Lock Screen should be able to put one in the Notification Area (System Tray). This would just make sense and be useful both for tablet and desktop users.
* I'm thinking the Cortana search popup might be better as a flyout like the Notification flyout, but from the left.
* Not quite sure what they're thinking on the swipe-up context bar placement at this point. The taskbar should be able able to quickly switch between the bottom of the screen and the top of the screen, and maybe automatically go on top in tablet mode, and on bottom in desktop mode.
* Maybe allow all Desktop apps to go into Full Screen mode also just like Modern apps.
. . .
Gave these and a lot more in the Feedback app.