When chests were just brown it was very easy to work them into a build. You had one colour to worry about, and it was brown. A very simple colour, works with many blocks in the game. But now it's brown and red. Suddenly despite looking good on its own, it doesn't look as good with other things, with previously viable colour themes. It's too flashy, it draws your eye away from the things around it.
The new ladder has a similar problem, though I might consider the bigger problem with the ladder to be that it doesn't look substantial. I don't want to climb up it. The 3.6 ladder looked sturdy.
Repeaters, comparators, and redstone torches are now very bright and draw attention. They worked much better visually as part of a larger image when they were grey.
The cauldron doesn't look like it belongs. I haven't seen anything with a similar texture. The 3.6 cauldron, which was black and grey, fit with the other utility blocks like furnaces. To me it's much more useful having furnaces and cauldrons the same colour because cauldrons are used as sinks in builds, and furnaces ovens, which both go in kitchens. I also think that cauldrons are often placed on stone, making the new striped brown texture a bit out of place. If someone wants to make them brown it's possible to put a trap door on the side.
On their own these new red and gold textures aren't bad, the problem comes from when you try to use them in something. They don't seem to be meant to be a part of something, but rather the thing.
I think that these very bright textures should be alts that could be made available by the individual user dragging them into a folder in their resource packs directory and then loading that over Bluebird, or you could do what SMP does in Revival which is put extra textures on new blocks that you access by altering a block's metadata in the game. It's not something everyone can do in survival without a mod but the new red and gold textures are a very specific need for a build so brown should be the default.
Also, the lightmap gets dark very early; all over my server I see dark X shapes between lights and even though I know hostile mobs can't spawn there it looks so dark that I desperately want to double up the torches. And the font is very compressed and difficult to read compared to the vanilla font, which looks fine on your GUI, and the shadows on the text don't help.
With that said, I've been using this pack for over a week now and it's amazing. Everything looks warm and inviting. It's not too detailed so everything fits together and it doesn't feel like anything fights for attention (aside from the mentioned 3.7 changes). My builds have never looked better, have never felt better. Building is easier because there aren't many textures that are too different to use next to each other.
And, the villagers are adorable.
Though personally I thought that they should quack.
I agree with you completely on the repeaters, comparators, and redstone torches. They will be iron in the next update.
I wasn't satisfied with how the old cauldron looked, though I don't like the new one either. I am working on a new one currently.
I do disagree on the ladders and the chests. Though they may not look good in your builds, I think they look fantastic in mine. If enough people think they need to change, I might, but I can't just tailor my pack to fit with one person's builds. Hope you understand.
The lightmap is one of the only things in the game that I refuse to edit. I spent days getting it right, and I won't be editing it again. Sorry.
I am very glad that you are liking the pack overall And I was hoping to one day add chirps and such to the villagers. Just haven't had the time, and I won't for several months.
And sorry if it seems like I am just ignoring some of your criticisms. I am not, it is just that I disagree and I probably won't change it unless enough people think that I need to.