While your observations are not incorrect, for me it was a hoot to see all my favorite childhood toys come to life.
I did feel bad for whoever else in the theater wasn't a rabid fan of Transformers as a kid. I went with my little cousin, uncle and wife. Afterwards my uncle turned to me and said, "I have no idea what the hell was happening for the past 2.5 hours."
Did you not find it disappointing as a rabid childhood fan? I was too, but the movie was so far removed from the tone and look of the original, it didn't feel like Transformers to me.
I've come to conclude that while the Decepticons are usually over-designed and look nothing like their animated counterparts, overall the Autobots ain't too bad. Optimus is optimal, Bumblebee works for me. Ratchet and Ironhide are the wrong colors but the characters seem correct. Megatron and Starscream never looked right but the interaction between the two was nice. Devastator was a disaster... that was one 'bot I needed to have some semblance of the original. Seriously, how fucking cool is Devastator? I guess if you had one as a kid, you'd understand.
Shockwave was kind of awesome, though. Although he didn't have much dialouge I thought he looked badass.
Soundwave wasn't my favorite moviebot either but the idea of him perched in space listening to everything... that is classic G1 Soundwave.
Sure, it's not perfect but I'd always wanted to see a live-action Transformers series and until the next one comes along I'm satisfied with what we have.
The problem with the Transformers movies is that the Transformers were secondary characters and mostly comic relief in their own damn movie. The movie was more focused on Shia LeBouff's stammering antics, Megan Fox's ass and pursed, breathy, lips; comic relief characters and nearly offensive racial stereotypes.
There is certainly some truth to that... but the core problem is evident in many spectacle movies. For example, when I rewatched The Mask (Jim Carrey) I was amazed at how little screen time he actually gets in "The Mask" vs. his mild mannered alter ego. Transformers 3 Dark of the Moon is another case in point... when I rewatch it I usually skip past the Shia job interview + parents' scenes.