Just my two cents ...
My 2014 GSWC is on a ship that left France today and is headed for New York. My thinking is this. I live in central Texas, which has basically no public land, and it's 8 to 10 hours on the pavement (highway or two lane rural roads) to get "off-road". Most off-road opportunities available to me are unpaved roads of some sort in national forests or parks and I believe that FOR ME the new GS's various capabilities reflects my future use of this machine very well. If your circumstance has you preferring the former models - great! I'm very comfortable with the reality that 90% of my miles will be on the pavement (perhaps more than that) and consequently I like the direction the GS has taken. I'm not claiming it's better that prior models, just more suitable for me and I suspect I'm pretty typical of most GS owners. By the way, I find myself disconnecting the front sway bar and engaging the lockers on my Jeep Rubicon far less often than I envisioned when I order it last year - I'm sure my GS experience will be similar.
'Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything.'
- Charles Kuralt, On the Road