I hate the top. Every time I click on a new thread or section, half of my screen is taken up with things I don't care to see. Every time.
I don't care about the site news. If I wanted to know what was going on, I'd come here to Updates.
I don't care about the "community focus" stuff. It's basically like the old "Announcements", but with threads from News.
I don't ever search anymore, and even if I did, I would prefer not having a giant grey bar across the whole length of the screen.
If there wasn't an option to turn off the field/store finder, I'd be pissed. Since there is, I'm only mildly annoyed.
Overall, whatever "this" is, it does nothing positive for me, and only detracts from the browsing experience here.
Easy fix: Make them collapsible.