I hear you. My lappy came with IE9 so unless I add Chrome (will not touch Firefox) it's what I will use. It's been a learning curve for sure. I certainly don't like the separate search bar being eliminated. I tend to use a separate search engine rather than using the address bar.
I do tend to look at the status bar (which I enabled) and I rarely see anything so I don't know if I am missing something. I didn't enable the Menu bar so that makes it different too.