Things I would have done for 4E...
I made several comments, but none specifically answering the original question. In fact, I could be asked "but why the hate?" Indeed there is no reason for me hating a game. A GAME! After all, I don't like the new rules, but there is so many rpg with rules I don't like, yet I do not hate these games... In fact, the more I think about it, my strong rejection of 4e primarily comes from the marketing and way of selling us this new edition. It's like (or at least I perceive it that way) they want to force 4e down our throat and get the maximum money out of our pockets. That's why I hate 4e, and will never ever buy something from WotC again. It's all about their ways with customers.
For me to not hate 4e, just get a look at it, and maybe try a gaming session or two (although I am not in minis games, nor in the new fantasy flavor it proposes, and thus would probably not like it), here is how I would have done the marketing for 4e:
1) Explain the customer base that "we", at WotC, have created everything we could think of for 3.5, and this doesn't take into account whatever was published by third party publishers. As such, production of further 3.5 material stops. Just if there is a real demand for it, a few books will be reprinted every now and then, mostly the 3 core books. However, it would made be clear that D&D is seen as a game of the past that won't get further rules and books. Yet this won't preclude anyone to play the game, and a few of the existing books will still be sold.
2) Then, "we", at WotC, are proud to propose a new and slightly different type of rpg, that we will focus on from now. This is called Warlocks & Warriors The Gathering. This is a more minis-oriented game, yet that is still usbale as a rpg, intended for current trends in fantasy pop culture (i.e.: anime, superheroes, etc.). This game should appeal to a younger audience, although old players may want to give it a try.
3) Customers get it for their money (quality paper, sturdy covers that do not bend, etc.). Game is playable as is, with the three core books; there will be more books and online stuff, of course, but you won't need it to run games. After all "we", at WotC, are not there to milk money from our customers...
Unfortunately, the marketing department must be run by a guy from the Chicago School (of economy theory). It's fortunate in these days of Internet, we have so many others options left (for spending our money on rpgs) though...