It is total capitulation by the Adsense team - and I don't mind that! After all, these are the guys who pushed content publishers to splash their ads everywhere. I did it too (and became a Google case study). Well, the Google Case Study has been Pandalized!
For Adsense to put up this new set of guidelines which are moving very far away from the earlier guidelines, there must be some very good reasons indeed.
It is quite likely that they have been told in no uncertain terms that Adsense ads everywhere is affecting site experience. Not just that - the Pandalization has probably hit their revenues too.
It is in some ways shameful that many of us have been hit because we listened to Adsense more, and to Matt Cutts less. Now at least, we know who to listen to!
There is no doubt that the new Ad layouts (except the News Content Page one) are easier on the eye and more user-friendly. So even at the cost of my revenues, I am a bit thrilled that the Adsense team has learnt a lesson.