Damn NewB..haven't you gotten over this yet?. Have you even played the new patch for more than a few hours since its been out?.
In my opinion they didn't ruin anything, sure they changed the game so much that I had to learn new strategies, but I like the new patch.
I find that I can actually *think* about what I want to do and execute it. Before i could just mash my buttons and produce a wonderful array of moves...now I need to time my keystrokes and look for openings on my opponent.
Oh..and kick is not nerfed now...I use it occasionally with no problem (even with a 200+ avg ping) and have still been the victim of kick-whores in 1.03.
If anything, I find that there are MORE lame moves just begging to be spammed in 1.03 vs. 1.02. Apparently some folks have worked out a trick to execute DFA while pretty much remaining in place (without having that long run from a mile away)...
In short after playing the new patch for a while people have adjusted and the game isn't that much different than 1.02...fights just last a little longer now.