So far, I've noticed you, the loyal (hopefully) readers, aren't all that amped up about the new format. Personally, I think that anything new always takes some time to get used and is problematic at the start. I can understand some of the frustrations with the format though and share them with you.
Here is a list of things I've requested to change thus far for our community:
1: I want threaded comments back, and I know this is coming, ChicagoNow just couldn't get it ready for the launch of the format, but it's on their "to expedite" list.
Our blog is probably the most comment heavy blog on the site, and thus the problem doesn't really affect anyone else the way it does us which I would speculate may be the reason that it wasn't viewed as critical for the launch.
I'm proud you've helped me create this community, and I feel it is a true community with some great back and forth rather than just one stop hitting the page and never coming back like on most blogs.
2: I want a wider main content page. Really, the whole site uses a 900 pixel wide setup, and I don't know anyone who's still browsing with a monitor that's less than 1200 pixels wide. I can't imagine there's anyone out there still using an 800x600, so at a minimum to use all 1000 pixels from 1024 set up should be done. Widening out the main content area would be nice and making reading comments easier.
3: I'd like to add some color back in by allowing us to customize the blank space on the side of the blog similar to twitter.
What I'd like you to do is post your initial thoughts and comments here, so I have more feedback as to how to improve things.
I would note that if you remain patient, the new format will eventually be much nicer than the old one. It allows you to sign in and post via facebook which should get more lurkers to post. It has much faster comment posting than the old system and likely won't be as subject to losing long comments. From a back end system it allows you to post much, much faster than before (it used to take about 3 minutes to save a post and republish the screen).
I'd imagine game thread posting will be vastly improved with faster comments as well.
I also have the ability to customize the right rail and put anything I want there which should be a lot of fun as I get time to play with it. I presently have a module that always puts in the Bulls Beat, but I think I could start doing polls and other fun stuff that I couldn't do before.
There's definitely some kinks to work out, and I expect there will be for awhile, however, I also expect this move will considerably improve the blog long term as long as ChicagoNow is committed to taking the necessary steps.