Although UIs fragmentation issue is real , I believe the developers can polish it to make it streamlined and proper. I think your point on visual clutter on the toolbars is spot on . Specifically since most users are going to see V8 for the first time and they will be disappointed with the new UI setup.
Also I trust the developers that they are going to fix it in early service release . I started using it for My work (the less urgent one) and decided to upgrade on day one.
As the developers are challenged in getting this release ASAP. I find myself challenged in getting our firm to upgrade their licenses. And in this case the UI is not helping me to convince them.
Then hold off in trying to convince them. We typically “soft release” Rhino and don’t make any big splash as far as promoting the product until after at least one service release. Many issues get addressed in the first few service releases of Rhino.
Right click with in a toolbar calls the properties up for the toolbar.
The gear icon is obtrusive and redundant.
I say this again as I am not sure why is not just removed rather than working on changing its size.
Having said that you cant right click on some toolbars - for example Osnap or Selection filter. Then no properties are called. You should expect the same behaviour in a tool bar tab irrespective of what toolbar it is. Whatever choices are made it should be consistent.