While I don't think it was your intention, this thread is borderline flamebait.
I don't think it's selfish to feed back to the developer that they're unhappy with a change. After all, there were other ways to achieve the same result without remove a feature that a significant number of players enjoyed, and most of them would have done the job better. My own favourite would have been a massive production nerf, reducing building bonuses by about 25%, nerfing adjacency into the ground, and probably halving raw production and stripping it off colony hubs, too.
As for this forum constantly being full of economic debates... well, yeah, the economy was broken as hell. It was going to be spoken about a lot. And the wheel change was a massive change in gameplay, and so was also likely to get some air time over the months before it's arrival. The AI couldn't use it, which was making the AI suck. The player was able to manipulate it so effectively that he could produce insane levels of output (you still can, to a lesser extent, since the major problem with it is excessive populations - a limit to maximum pop based on planet size rather than just farms would be a good move here I think).
Funny thing is, we'd been moving much more into debating Diplomacy over the past couple of weeks, partially because it's the next big thing to be changed, partially because it's in need of a lot of work, and partially because we finally figured out how the hell it works so we were able to start discussing what was broken with it and how. Wider economy threads were running low, because we all knew the wheel change was going to sort out a lot of balance problems.