Thanks for writing that, but:
- I get it. People want "proper" wishlists. Dunno why they don't exist already. But collections aren't wishlists. They're collections. You can use them for a lot of different things. Even as a poor man's wishlist if you like, but that's not the main goal.
- Reviews work the way they work because they were intended in a certain way. Did you ever read the rationale? It didn't work out, and the system should have been redesigned. Dunno why that hasn't happened yet. But there was a good reason.
- The search system is optimized for full title searches, also for a good reason. Maybe it's not what people expect, but it's well documented and often repeated around here. It's not a bug and not a mistake, it's intentional. It always worked like that.
- Yes, the popularity ranking is based on an algorithm, in the computer science, classroom sense of the word. That's also public and well-known. How that works is deliberately obfuscated so people don't try to game it. That's also well-known and public.
I fear you're describing the itch.io you'd build if it was yours. Or rather the one you think you want. Are you really looking at the real one?