I have no problems with the current applet but it's not written in QML and therefore has to be rewritten anyway to work with libplasma2 in the future – just as every other Plasma applet.
Devoting an entire article to a single applet seems a bit overambitious by Michael but whatever. Hopefully he'll also devote an entire article once the clock widget has been rewritten.
Well, I never had any issues with that, as there are widescreen monitors everywhere. Having it more compact is nice, but it may be a bit too compact for its own good now...
I think this is better. Yes, getting rid of important stuff is bad. But half the old widget was dedicated to two checkboxes and buttons for disconnecting interfaces. The former is now below the widget, and the latter is now integrated into the connections themselves. So in this particular case I don't think we are losing anything that important.