Things that make you feel like stuck in the 80's

The first point is undoubtedly true; we've come a long way from 80x24. Though, the point remains, that was a constraint the original interface was designed around, and it still works...if you were for some reason forced to use an old monitor today, you could still use emacs effectively, with it.

The second point about selection though is more contestable. The amount of software you could be potentially running at once still dwarfs the available screen real estate. Do you really have no buried tabs or windows? Perhaps not, if you're running a high-resolution multi-monitor set-up...but even that would probably be more distracting than helpful after a certain point.
Abusing the food metaphor further: there's not a table large enough to hold every dish available in the world...and even if there was, it would be terrible to navigate. The key point remains that your attention is a single point of focus. You can rapidly shift focus, but unless you have a very unusual human neurology, you can't focus on 2 things at once. Navigating by request is not necessarily more efficient (especially factoring in expected locations and "muscle memory"), but it's certainly a lot more flexible (for either one-time, or changing needs) and a lot less cluttered.

Anyway, it's OK if you don't pursue learning the original mode of interaction. I don't really expect to convince you...especially as I didn't really convert myself, until I was forced to, by travel, requiring remote access via a terminal emulator...first learning, then becoming proficient with, then coming to prefer "the old ways." It's a philosophical shift in human/computer interaction, and a few words on an online forum are unlikely to have the leverage needed to convince you to reevaluate your whole perspective.

But I hope I've at least convinced you that another perspective exists...and that there might be some good reasons for certain default behaviors being what they are. Though I also hope I've at least planted the seed of the idea that maybe there's another (possibly more powerful) way to interact with a machine, that might be worth your time to discover. But I'll settle for the first.

/r/emacs Thread