You can get rid of Navigation gizmo. And you can close toolbar. The new addition of 2.8 will just be the group of popovers about display options on the right of header of 3D View.
I agree that if you are using Z pie-menu, the 5 icons about display modes could be one like in 2.79.
But in general, the use of icons instead of buttons with names is reducing space taken by theses buttons and freeing more space in 3DView.
The overlay render On/Off button is equivalent to the 2.79 render only option that was hidden inside the display panel inside N column.
In 2.8 with transfer of panels from N column to header popovers, main 3D View region is winning space.
Active tools of toolbar are modal. But if you set tools in a toolbar, they are forced to be modal.
I don’t know if you either tried to do a scale from toolbar in 2.79. You don’t have control on the origin of movement like when you are pressing S.
In 2.8, it is slower than pressing S (still available) but you don’t loose control of location of ignition of movement.
Most of shortcuts for modeling tools are same in 2.8.
If you want to access an active tool by using a shortcut, you can create such shortcut by using a right click menu over icon button. You are not forced to use spacebar for all of these active tools if you don’t want.
That is not supposed to be more difficult to find something in 2.8 than in 2.79.
Just take a breath. Relax and pay attention to menus items.
Menus are more numerous in 2.8, to be shorter and easier to read.