I also acknowledge the fact that 95% of the players have never played the original and probably don't even know one exists, which actually brings me back to my original notion: the reviewers who deemed this a faithful and "not dumbed down" adaption of the original, on whose account I bought the game
As a fan of the original game as well as TFTD, I agree with most of your points. But I think if they had just modernized the original game most people would find it unattractive and too difficult that's why I think they made all those bad design choices.
Having played both the originals and the new one i must say i really like the remake and think the new combat system is pretty decent in its own way(The LoS issues are a bit annoying.)
On higher difficulties i've had my chance to hit down at 1% though so it seems to be working decently (anything below the classic difficulty is a joke which is a bit sad. my main problem with the remake is the lack of strategic depth in the geoscape(1 base ... no joint strikes with interceptors, single best strategy is to just focus on engineers to get satellites up quickly, labs and scientists are virtually useless (you get enough of those from abduction missions even if you only take the one that gives scientists when you absolutely have to in order to avoid losing that country), and ofcourse, the bloody UFOs don't actually do anything except possibly shoot down your sats if you don't kill them after they've been detected. (in the originals you could prevent terror missions from occuring by shooting down the terrorships for example, now the terrorsites just appear randomly)
i do love the iron man mode (makes things a bit more challenging as you can't do save/reload and it autosaves whenever something important happen).
The character skill system is also quite nice as it gives you more diverse units than you had in the original games and it does add quite a bit of tactical depth despite the "2 action" system(allthough the 2 action system makes things like overwatch and unlimited reloads less problematic (as they require a full action and ends the turn). also, sectopods are just pure fun to fight on higher difficulties (nothing in the original games were anywhere near as nasty)
if you've played the originals, do yourself a favor and start on classic difficulty with ironman enabled, it makes the game far more enjoyable.