Amen Tedster. Anyone who has my balls in a vice the way Google does deserves my respect (well, deserves cautious treatment).
Thankfully I think Google is now moving in a direction that is much easier for ANYONE to understand (not just SEO's). It's not easier to crack, more complex than ever, but a simpler concept to digest because it's in line with the real world. I think that will eventually help people come to terms with the frustrations and direct their efforts to more productive things.
Did I just fall into the trap of thinking I know it all? LOL.