I just returned as well, and I greatly miss what we used to call "PB2," when ponybox had four servers and jumpoffs were easier, you grew your own crops, etc. Honestly, I don't even know why it had to change. :/
MissT, a lot of members complained constantly about wanting an update and had submitted tons of ideas about it. I think at that point of time Deja and Jeff were having a baby and PB takes a lot of money and time to run, so they merged the servers and made it a lot easier to run and maintain. Personally I don't like the update as much as I like the old PB, but I understand why it was done.