Mark, if you'd let someone entirely unrelated plunk an oar in for a minute, I think "However, it does line things
up nicely for work I would like us to do in future." is at the nub of this. You've said a couple of times that the idea is to free up the right hand corner for Other Stuff You Will Put There Later, which is a valid idea. What I don't get, though, is why you think it makes sense to do the freeing-up before you've got around to inventing the Other Stuff. It gives people all the drawbacks of the re-arranging with none of the benefits of the Cool New Stuff, so it's not that surprising that they wind up belly-aching.
You said somewhere that you think it's better to 'get ready' for the change now, but...why? I don't see how it would be innately more difficult for people to adjust to the new layout once you've got the Cool New Stuff ready, and then they'd have the Cool New Stuff to make up for having to adjust to the new layout. Sure, it probably wouldn't be any _easier_ either, but that's not really a sufficient argument for doing it now. If you did it when the other changes are ready too, it'd probably make a lot more sense to people. If you've covered this somewhere, sorry, but if I haven't seen it, probably a lot of others haven't either =)