I haven't particularly minded the cashew here, especially after
changed it to fade out unless hovered over, but I never really understood
why they insisted on it remaining for those really bothered by it, when
its functionality was available elsewhere. So reading that there's an
option to turn it off in plasma5 is good news, and given the option, I
probably will as well.
kde-plasma-ihatethecashew does wonders on Plasma 4. :-)
Of course, as you somewhat implied, one person's insignificant
someone else's absolutely critical feature, as the kde devs found out all
too well in the kde3 -> kde4 upgrade. Thankfully, they're being less
forceful about dropping support for what actually works in favor of new
but broken stuff, this time around. If distros are forcing upgrades,
that's on them and for me anyway could be a reason to switch distro, but
at least the kde folks are being a bit more understanding about people's
absolutely critical features, this time around, and continuing to provide
at least minimal/security upgrades somewhat longer, for those who find
their absolutely critical features are simply broken in the new version,
and who thus need to wait awhile until they're either fixed or worst-case
dropped as features entirely, so they know they have to find alternatives.
KDE upstream is actually no longer shipping any updates to kde-workspace
4.x, they even locked the repository to prevent everybody from committing
any fixes to it.