In my Ahab like obsession perhaps I have overlooked certain features getting updated over time. Its just the old 1.x features seem to get overlooked and the updates sporadic.I wonder if you would see it differently if Power Play wasn't your pet peeve.
What you are describing happened to most features of the game. Mining wasn't just improved with 3.3, they improved it all the time. They added various new minerals, made ice mining useful, added collector and prospector limpets, improved the refinery, etc.
I agree that Power Play (and CQC by the way) has not seen enough improvements though.
Now if you can excuse me, I have a harpoon to sharpen....