I disagree. I like a lot of the changes in 1.9, particularly with the changes to combat. I'd love to have my spellbook in my offhand and run a spellsword or arcane archer build.
As for the difficulty... it's been over a year. At this point, I don't really find "it's a lot of work" a valid excuse any more. Mod makers have had the time to do it.
The problem with the "It's a lot of work" thing is that I think a lot of them were scared that 1.9 would also change a lot about how mods need to be made, and 1.8 itself is... well... it doesn't change that much in the actual game. In fact, I'm not even sure that there is much in the basic gameplay (as in, not counting commands or the game system) that hasn't either been moved to 1.7.10 by someone, or simply outdone by one of 1.7.10's mods.
But yes, I think a lot of mod makers have been waiting for 1.9 to actually put the effort into translating their mods, so hopefully we'll get a whole bunch of them moved to the new system before long.