This is kind of a bummer. I just recently started using the gardenhose feed so comparing what is now available to what was available at gardenhose launch really doesn't satisfy me (and I suspect others). I started to build around the 6-8k/minute stream and this reduction to 2k/minute is definitely a hamper. I suppose it's just another challenge to develop around and I totally see your guys issue with consuming a load of bandwidth as you stream this data to developers without any compensation (as a side note, it'd be awesome to see graphs of incoming and outgoing bandwidth utilization at Twitter split up into pieces [streams, API, updates, etc.] - but then that may be competitive info you don't want to share).
But with that, it would have been nice to have gotten a little heads up about the impending reduction rather than an explanation after the fact. I know there are a lot of moving parts over there but as with everything else Twitter does that impacts developers, a little notice about changes would help all of us adapt more effectively to the changing availability of data and connections. Regardless, thanks for the effort and dialog. If you guys are just being held up by not having a new name for the feed, may I propose renaming spritzer to drinking-straw and gardenhose to spray-faucet. Then you can use spritzer for the next level and gardenhose for the level just under firehose. That's one problem solved. :-) Sanjay