As I see it, this happened:
Many people had just gotten into Meteor and loved it because of how fast you could create a fairly advanced, interactive, website. Meteor took care of almost everything, you just needed to write code almost wherever and however you wanted. If you needed extra functionality you headed over to Atmosphere and grabbed it. It was easy to learn and it was easy to teach.
Then suddenly everything changed.
In hindsight, it did not change at all, we were just given the options to be more “industrial” with our structures and was also given options to choose frontends. Meteor got better, but it did not feel like that. I think it was down to a bad communication strategy from the MDG, because myself and many with me got the feeling they said “you are doing it wrong, this is the way you are supposed to do it”. Suddenly Blaze was dead and it was all about npm, React, Angular, Apollo and whatnot.
There is a time when you learn and there is a time when you produce. In the middle of your production you do not want to hear that the stuff you use are on a death list. In the middle of production you do not want to change the development strategy in a direction which contains mostly question marks.
I think MDG made the right choices, Meteor as it was could not go much further, but they should have been more gentle, they should have marketed the “new way” as an alternative for those who wanted to do a more proper architecture without signalling the death of the old way. Especially since that is what it was. The old way did not die. Maybe it never will.
The new way is better, but different. It is a bit harder to learn but it’s worth it. For some. For others, the “old way” is unbeatable. “You need a site for your cake recipes? With voting and comments? Facebook login? PDF printouts? No problem, you have it in the afternoon”