@rvone: Haha, no that's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for going into such detail.
So really, it comes down to small tweaks that, while not fundamentally redesigning the gameplay, serve to make it a more welcoming experience. I actually think SF4 is probably a relatively apt comparison, in that much was made about the frame-window for reversals and counters when it was first released.
I will say that when I played DMC4 a few years ago, it seemed that there were far more cancels available, so that was one of the few changes that very quickly stood out (besides the soft lock-on, which is absolutely infuriating and nearly broken in the Vergil fight).
Flicking through my Steam games earlier I noticed that I actually have 3 and 4 in my collection - totally forgot I bought the DmC Pack. I installed them both last night, so looking forward to jumping in and seeing how they hold up compared the the new game (after patching 3 into oblivion).
Thanks again for spending the time going through that, dude. Appreciated.