Really? Reallllly? I don't like the change to the patcher at all.
I would much prefer to login at the game screen proper, as you are/were treated to the music and art of the game in addition to having a color code that was generated by your password, which I thought was a neat touch. I feel that if you get launched directly into a character select, it will be far too abrupt and not nearly as cool as being presented the world through the proper login screen. One of the cool things that I enjoy about MMOs is the login screen and seeing it change and evolve over time, with WoW being the best example of this.