The combative tone in this thread makes me regret some of the effort I put into HF as a moderator. I've never thought that before.
Just scroll through the hangouts every once in a while and subscribe to or bookmark the ones you might want to attend or follow. It wasn't difficult before the change, and it's not difficult now.
We made the subforums because of the sheer number of hangout threads and how frequent the request to do so comes up. It seems to best fit the largest number of members to break it down a little more.
If you don't like the change, that's fine. But it's not some 'terrible' thing to make a few more clicks every once in a while.
Please leave the arguments to other sites.