My experience is pretty much in alignment with the complaint....
The privacy settings wizard, which they force on you, is very vague about what your previous settings were, and the alternatives were always to increase visibility.
What I found myself doing is to go through the privacy wizard fast, trying to be as restrictive as possible, and then to dig into the Settings >> Profile Information / Search Information / Contact Information, etc. These are more granular than the wizard... but the settings don't stay set, at least as I remember it, unless you've done the wizard first. (Either that, or they made some additional changes and hit me with the wizard twice).
Also, there are trade-offs in the settings that simply aren't clear... even with the Profile preview feature... which is a nice feature, but it only seems to preview part of the profile, and you're not quite sure which part. I may have reduced my profile to a "this user doesn't display blah blah" message to most of my friends... I'm not quite sure. I don't know whether FB is trying to be tricky to get users to loosen up, or it's just their typical ineptitude with regard to documentation.
The interface also seems to be changing all the time, something that's understandable to a degree as a complex social system develops, but not to the extent that they've been making changes.
Additionally, as an aside... it's not possible, from what I can determine, how to keep marketer friends as friends, but, at the same time, to keep them from spamming you with invitations. It's a setting that's badly needed.