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.
1. The fact that the Queen allowed Voyager
to survive instead of just neutralizing this pest makes no sense unless her profession to favor Seven is true.
2. Krige's performance in First Contact
struck me as being far too angry at Picard for his having spurned her for it to be false. The Queen could easily have just had Picard killed before entering Engineering if she was coldly pragmatic. She obviously wanted to cause him harm in part because of his having spurned her. Plus, it was Picard's memory from having been Locutus and having touched her mind that let him know she wanted him.
3. We saw the Queen feeling emotions in her internal monologue in Destiny
I also don't think the books portray the Borg as "evil by intent."
No, but they do portray them as being deliberately malicious, enjoying causing harm and desiring power.