In my opinion, the vast majority of complaints regards the reduction of functionality in Pages from v4 to v5 relate to functionality that is, (and again , just my opinion) more about desktop publishing as opposed to basic to moderate word processing. I'm not an Apple apologist, but it is clear what happened here, and anyone willing to step back and remove the emotion and think it through, it becomes clear.
Prior to overwhelming success of iOS, iWorks was on a path of constantly adding functionality. People saw it as the Apple answer to MS Office, not because Apple ever said that is what it would be, but because that is what many people WANTED and HOPED it would be, so they imposed their desire and reflected it in their reviews and feedback to Apple, which at the time, continued to march down the functionality curve of continued adding of functionality.
MS Office sells for +$100. iWorks was much less, and for some Mac owners came with their Mac. At some point point Apple started doing the math; "Wait, what are we doing here, we keep heading down this path, in 3 to 5 years people are going to be expecting Pages to be a competitor to Adobe InDesign, all for $20." Is the destiny of iWorks to be a Office or Adobe competitor selling for $150 or more? Is that really what we want?"
At that same time, iOS is taking off in ways Apple could not have even imagined, especially tablets, and the need to have some type of iWorks running on tablets, and the need to have a cross platform solution was more important that maintaining the functionality curve on the desktop. At that point, Apple had to decide if the desktop version of iWorks needed to be rebranded to a "professional" pro-sumer product, for several hundred dollars, with constant functionality improvements, while the iOS brand with greatly reduced functionality (due to the hardware/software limitations of tablets versus desktop) was maintained as a separate product platform.
The decision was this, if we provide cross platform products brands, this will improve the adoption of iOS and the tablet as a 'serious' platform that can do serious work, not just reading email and playing games. Once that decision was reached, limitations in iOS mandated and the need to have one code base, resulted in the desktop version having to be paired back down. Once desktop and iOS got to a common base, you now seeing functionality being added BACK in to subsequent versions of the desktop version and iOS version concurrently.
Having said that, Apple has decided the target base for Pages is NOT as a direct competitor to higher end document processors. Pages is not supposed to be "Adobe InDesign LITE" for lack of a better term, which sells for hundreds of dollars, while Pages is only $19.99 and for many if not most, if you first install iWork 09, the app store will still upgrade your copy to the latest (provided you have Yosemite or later). Some users are expecting InDesign functionality out of a $19.99 app.
I have not paid for any updates/upgrades to Pages, Numbers or Keynote since my original purchase of iWork 09, SEVEN YEARS ago. Lastly, people talk like they are being forced to upgrade. There are many options: 1) keep an old Mac around running older OS X and iWorks, 2) run virtualized installs of older OS X; 3) if you have a Mac capable of running older OS X and latest, partition the drive into bootable partitions of older and newer OS X.
Again, the expectations of what we want Pages to be need to be balanced by the fact that is is a $19.99 app (or a free upgrade to many/most previous users), which provides cross platform compatibility with iOS.. It is not Adobe InDesign Lite and never will be. That doesn't make Pages a bad product for NEW users looking for basic to moderate word processing.
I"m not discounting people's frustrations, I get it, so it isn't necessary to respond back about how much you invested in previous documents, and so on, I GET IT. For new users, considering Pages, they need to realize, that for $19.99, you are getting a very decent piece of software that is meant for entry level to low moderate document generation needs. Your a working Mom that needs to punch out a quick flyer or one page newsletter for your church or kids' softball group, and you only have 30 minutes? Pages is GREAT for that.
Now if you're a company, looking to do commercial level, or even pro-sumer level document generation, or if your needs lean towards to book publishing, template management, multiple master pages, complex text flow, etc, a $19..99 app is not going to meet your needs. Forget that the Pages from FIVE years ago could handle it. At this point, the reality is, stop expecting Apple to restore Pages to what it was; they don't want it to be the answer to Office or Adobe desktop publishing. iOS is the cash cow for Apple now, not desktop. The cart has become the donkey. Until the day there is a massive evolution in the processing and interface of iOS devices, and as long as they want to maintain some level of functional coherency between desktop and iOS, the desktop version will continue to suffer. Otherwise it's back to splitting up the platform versions again and functional disparity between the two platforms, and then you MIGHT see something like 'Pages Pro version" come out for the desktop, not for $19.99 but for $199.99. But again, there is no business reason for Apple to do that; why devote the development resources to a high end product that may only sell tens of thousands of copies, when you can devote that to the $19.99 product which drives sales of Mac hardware, desktop and iOS.
Higher end users can go with Adobe, or you can run Office 2016 for Windows virtualized or with boot camp, and use Microsoft Publisher, which by the way, is a great product which basically comes included with most versions of Office.