At fist, I had a super hard time with the new skinning system as well. In fact, I was able to radically changed how I wanted templates to look in 2.3 in a few hours but then I upgraded and those few hours turned into eons.
But after getting used to it, I find it a whole LOT neater than 2.3 and I don't struggle nearly as much to find what I am looking for. I do agree that it's not as newbie friendly and time consuming to learn.
It would be nice to see some sort of in-depth generator similar to dreamweaver, but I doubt that will come true.