As far as the new 52 are concerned, it wasn't a completely start from scratch kinda deal. Everything that happened in the DCU previously still happened, they're just starting new story arcs in order to bring in more new readers. They just wanted to create a "starting point" for people who are just getting into comic books.
Also, you need to leave room for evolution in story telling, even in the comic book arena. There are some GREAT writers right now who are re-imagining the comic story format. It's been going on for years in indie comics, but now DC and Marvel are doing it, too, and it's fantastic. I guess all I'm saying is, enjoy it. Don't get upset just because the archaic standards may have been upset.
P.S. Aquaman is awesome. Does anyone REALLY have a reason to hate him other than "he's an easy target"?