I shouldn't be a "vertically scrollable mess" unless the user insists on too much being open at once. There are options about how it will be seen as well as how for example the inserts etc are shown. I hate the skinny scroll bars there. I think most users feel or believe like you, and therefore are focusing more on the channel editor. Especially younger users who have no background with a real mix console.The built in tools are good, but personally I feel the implimentation of some are poor I.E the channel strip. The whole mixer should be a clean lunchbox format, not a vertically scrollable mess. It puts a lot of people off using the built in channel strip tools, I'd rather open the channel editor to use the strip, then try use the mixer for strip settings..
When C7 was released I personally thought "wow this is wonderful!" But in reality, I was on the fast track of more Waves, UAD, Soundtoys etc...and sub-consciously sort of forgot about the console. Maybe I thought higher quality through 3rd party? I know UAD for emulations not available in the console, makes sense. And task specific tools such as Massenburgs MDWEQ for precision EQ surgery, or if I feel I need a top EQ FabFilter3. But personally, I can't help but wonder if I should have given these tools more chances over the years.
The beta group has discussed whether or not the improved channel editor will revive interest for the 3 consoles. And there is more channel editor improvements to come in a few months! Regardless, I'm very happy the meters are back!