I finally figured out one of the things that is bugging me: lots of wasted space on the topic list screen. The thread title, creator, and last post are all grouped on the left side, and more then half the page is... blank.
Putting all the info on the left side also makes each entry take up 2 or 3 lines, instead of one. In the old system you could see 25-30 topics at a time, now the most you can see at one time is 8, which is really a lot less.
Also, why only 20 threads per page in the topic view list? Once again, there used to be many more, and it's annoying to have to click through page after page. Is this user-definable in some way, or will it be?