I mean, that's not crazy or anything: if 3.5 was not bringing in many new players, and the PH2 just comfortably sold to established ones, while 4e was selling mainly to new players, then, yeah, maybe it was conceivably confusing...I actually disagree with this entirely. It's not that people are more easily confused, it's just that there are more new players. And having a bunch of rulebooks with similar names is going to confuse new players...
….but then why try to 'solve' that with an even more confusing 10-product 'Essentials' line, led by a retro-"Red Box" aimed at old players? While leaving the offending numbered book in print?
And, why, if we are dealing with so many presumably-still-confusion-subject new players, today, go entirely the other way with one potential 'on ramp' and make it mechanically lead-into a defunct edition? Surely that's at least as confusing?
I mean, I know I'm confused.