Another example is emotion. The Borg were originally described in "Q Who?" as being creatures devoid of passion, acting only rationally in their own self-interest. It was never personal, as you note. What FC and VOY did, though, was reveal that the Borg do have emotion and that, for them, it is personal: The Borg take pleasure in assimilating new life-forms ("Dark Frontier"). The Queen can develop emotional attachments to certain drones ("Endgame"). The Borg experience religious impulses, such as the worship of the Omega Molecule ("The Omega Directive").
And the Queen feels lonely (First Contact).
I don't think you can take the Queen's professions of emotion as being genuine. I always perceived them as calculated and artificial, just tactics she employed in her efforts to manipulate and use other beings.
I also don't think the books portray the Borg as "evil by intent." People don't think of themselves as evil. Everyone's trying to do what they believe is the right thing, even if they define that purely in selfish terms. The Borg are simply goal-oriented, that goal being the assimilation of all life into the Collective. And they are ruthless toward anything that threatens that goal.
I mean, from the Borg's perspective, their actions in last year's TNG novels and Destiny
were acts of self-defense. The offshoot Borg in Resistance
et seq. were in a "kill first" mode because they were protecting their nascent Queen. And the main body of the Collective invaded the Alpha Quadrant in Destiny
as retaliation for Voyager
and Admiral Janeway's destruction of their transwarp hub and Unicomplex. That was the first time the Federation had caused destruction to the Borg on such a massive scale, and so that made the Borg see the UFP as an imminent threat they could no longer tolerate. All very logical and pragmatic.