I think it's amazing that you have a time machine! I mean, how else could you have tried a finished version of W10M? That would be the only the fair way to compare it to WP 8.1, right?
No reason to be jerky about this! Daniel has his opinion and, even though it may not concur with your point of view, he is entitled to it. Honestly, I am sharing his opinion and I've gone so far that I bought me an S6 3 weeks ago and a G4 yesterday. My older Windows Phone devices have been sold and the last two which I have been using up to now will be next.
In my opinion, Microsoft never hangs in there long enough. Right at the moment when people start to get interested, - and here I mean non-Windows enthusiasts - MS always seems to get cold feet and changes directions dramatically. You can see this throughout history. One example: Zune; another: Windows 8 ... For instance, I have upgraded most of my neighbors computers to Windows 8. Some came from Windows XP, some from Vista and 7. They all had a hard time adapting but once I installed Start8 (or an alternative), they began to warm up to it. After I demonstrated the beauty of Windows 8.x on a tablet like my Surface, they fell in love with it and almost everyone got a Windows 8 tablet of some sort. Along came Windows 10 and, all of a sudden, the tablets they bought didn't work as nice anymore as they used to under 8.1. You have to put yourself in my neighbor's shoes: they are no computer geeks and had to learn everything new on 8.x. It took a while and just now, where they start to grasp the concept and figured out how they can swipe through open apps as well as swiping down to close it or getting the charms bar and app related menus; ... just now where they started to love the devices, everything is gone and they're back to a more or less Windows 7-like experience.
I am not saying Windows 10 is bad at all. I like it, I use it on all my devices (except phones) but for my neighbors, the time span was simply too short! The non-geeky user needs longer to learn and understand a system. I am certain that people would have gotten used to Windows 8.x. Granted, there were all the nay-sayers. In fact, the entire bloggosphere seemed to hate on Windows 8.x and they stopped at nothing to let the world know. Unfortunately, those are the same blogs a user may find first when performing a Bing or Google search. With more publicity and marketing, Microsoft could have done wonders to counteract this. Instead, they bowed down and changed directions ...
But I am digressing too much since we're talking about Windows Phone here. Either way, it is the same thing. Do I have to remind everyone of the beauty of WP7? The beautiful hubs and magazine style apps that were jaw-dropping even to iOS and Android users? Most of it was gone with WP8. MS had a good excuse and they explained it with the fact that they wanted to uncouple the core apps, so, that those apps could be updated more easily and more often. After this, there didn't come much other than an occasional version number bump with nothing but bug fixes. Have a look at the Office app on WP8: it is a joke compared to what is available on Android and iOS. I am writing intentionally about WP8 and not W10M because W10 isn't officially released nor finished yet. But since I mentioned it ... :
Windows 10 Mobile, even though not seen that way by many, is yet another reboot of Microsoft's mobile platform. It kept a similar start screen and app menu but from there on, it is a complete different beast. With 3 reboots in just a couple of years, how do you expect an operating system to grow and evolve? And, no! The reboots weren't evolution but "starting overs". Developers lost interest. People never got the chance to grow accustomed to it or felt like the platform didn't go anywhere other than running in a circle.
Since I got my S6, I am more than happy. I still use all my Microsoft services (and many of them work better than on WP/WM); I don't miss a thing. "OK GOOGLE" is just as powerful as Cortana; in many things it even outshines Microsoft's personal assistant. For instance, ask Cortana "How hot is Mars" and she may take you to some search results whereas Google's assistant will cite (speak: read) the answer right off Wikipedia or other sources. Scheduling appointments, sending a text or email ... just as easy!
No longer do I have to sit and wait until Microsoft managed to integrate yet another thing that has been around on other platforms for years. My "coming soon" days are over and as a bonus, I don't even have to worry about apps and I have many flagship phones from which I can choose. And before you drop the "You won't get updates" nonsense: Buy a flagship Android device and, in most cases, you're good. Even the Note 4 will still get Marshmallow. And, in the rare case where you're left in the dust, you'll find alternative ways to get the latest version of Android if you really want to.
Honestly, I am tired of waiting! My life is too short to wait for a giant corporation to get their act together! I sure will keep an eye on the platform as a whole, however, for the time being I am happy to just look over the fence. I am not an impatient person but, as always, it is about choosing the right tools for the job; and until a non-predictable date in the future, W10M just isn't it.