I'm with you there. They're trying too hard to figure out what I want to see. With the old layout I had jiggered the settings so that I did see what I wanted. I find myself spending more time on G+ as a result.
At a certain point... on a personal level, at any rate... it's not worth keeping up with the changes, and I'd done so only because I'm "in the business". That said, I've not kept up with this last round.
I couldn't figure out what they meant by their different levels of importance, and I didn't really care. I wonder what percentage of their users had the same reaction.