Like you, I wanted what was faster and newer and damn…this keyboard. But seriously, as a graphic designer I spend more hours with my macbook than with anything else I own, which means I probably know about 50% of system shortcuts and close to 95% of my top application-specific shortcuts. I don’t need the stupid bar. I did find that using BetterTouchTool let me customize the touch bar with what are essentially macros, workflows, and keyboard shortcuts sent to specific apps that aren’t even open. I take a lot of screenshots and message them to specific people with annotations, for example—so I have a button that grabs a screenshot, copies it, opens a new message to a pre-set contact, and then pastes it in the message in all of about 1 second. That’s handy. In Adobe Illustrator there are a number of actions that don’t even have keyboard shortcuts, and there are already so many that to create even more would begin to push my list of shortcuts to the obscure (⌘+ctrl+shift+F5, for example). So I made a set of touch bar buttons mapped specifically to Illustator for some of my more complicated and boring actions, such as exporting crap.
All that to say: it’s sad that I have to rely on a third party to make something that Apple conceived of actually useful; customization is the missing piece to the touch bar puzzle, in my opinion.