1) Top right corner there is a link to "View New Content". Clicking the dot on the left of a forum link takes you to the most recent unread post in the forum.
Yes I see that. I know I can get the information by clicking around. But I used to have that right there on the right column when I signed in and that was always where I looked first every time I visited. Right now I have "Recent Topics" on the right column. It has an X in the corner so I can supposedly take that out of the column. So it seemed that the right column on the main screen is somewhat customizable. I'd really like to be able to see the most recent posts, not just recent topics, on that right column if it's possible.
And I'd also like to be able to see the list of threads I've been active in in that right column if possible, just as I used to have it in the old system.
For me the right column sections that showed my threads and the most recent posts (not just topics) were the most useful tools. I used them every time I visited and having them right there on the main screen when I logged in was extremely convenient.
2+3) You'll want to spend some time in the notification options. You can set it up to email you updates or go into your notification center based on a variety of types of interactions, including emails if you would like. I haven't worked it all out totally, but it should be able to do what you want.
I know but the old system already was emailing all the notifications. I used to get an email immediately upon every post to a thread I was subscribed to. Am I correct that the subscriptions are still in the system - it still remembers which threads I was subscribed to - but the email notifications just got wiped? Or is it possible that this will get fixed again over the last stages of the upgrade and I should just sit tight?
Update: OK I just updated my overall notification settings so hopefully that will solve it and I'll start getting notified like before. So hopefully that will clear up question #3 from above.