Ugh, whenever I see you make a topic with this basic subject line, my first thought is always "crap, what NEXT?"
I've assumed that #1 is a GIVEN, seeing as how there's no denominations anymore they can raise rates EVERY year without sticker waste.
#2 is highly annoying. I've disliked how short of notice they've BEEN doing in recent years, now they're going LESS?
As for the hi-face stamps, I got one of the Washington-Jackson $5 stamps on a package just a couple months ago, though it is pretty rare. I guess I'd best go buy another block, since if they're coming out with a NEW $5 stamp (after 17 years) the W-J stamp will likely go off sale pretty soon. This will also be the USA's first $10 stamp too.
As for the LOOK of these new ones, I don't consider them any worse than the rest of the garbage they've been putting out since stickers replaced stamps. That Wash-Jackson stamp was the LAST decent issue (I think?), so I never expect anything better than a cartoonish depiction regardless (except Duck stamps).
An aside, while I'm venting;
This "forever-stamp" nonsense has served to KILL my USA collecting interest. Not only am I going to delete stickers now, I decided to cut my US collection back to before they got so exceptionally stupid about stamp issues, so am ending my US collection at 1990 (except Duck stamps).
Visit my store for MANY great stamps, undercutting "dealers" prices universally;Boppolis' Stamp Pile
stamps currently listed.