It's funny I had a similar conversation yesterday with my colleagues and now I found your post. :)
I agree with your perspective. Too many redesigns have appeared recently where designers go only after the eye candy.
It is a bit regrettable because this gives people the impression that design is only the visuals. It is regrettable that there is no data and no real design thinking behind 90% of the redesign concepts out there.
Thanks for the nice post Alex!