Got to agree, the naming convension dosent bother me in the slightest, its a name, thats it.
As for updates, there pretty frequent, this update is faster, supports multicore processors, better, faster, cloth simulations, more tools etc etc, all the better to be honest, Id rarther have updates to take into consideration the change in technolgys. Although theres no huge changes (such as neucleus being rolled out for the whole dynamics set) it does seem a decent update.
I think that you'll always get naysayers with updates.
Its not as if you have to upgrade neither, if youve got the money and/or are a platinum member then go for it, if not then theres not need to worry, I'm pretty sure that I would be happy using maya 6 (which I started with) as the software can do a hell of a lot more than my skill level can.
"No pressure, no diamonds" Thomas Carlyle