> If I want to power off/sleep from the desktop I have to go bottom left, click on windows
> start-screen button.
From the desktop, go to the bottom right to get the Charms bar, then Settings, and Power is in there.
Or install Classic Shell (freebie), which puts it back in the Start menu where it should be...
> (no multi-select of icons appears to be available):
There is a multi-select of bits on the Start screen in 8.1 Update 1. I'm on the work Windows 7 machine so I can't try it, but it's probably holding down Ctrl or Shift. A little tick appears in the top-right of the panel.
> PC Settings
You're right, that is so annoying. You can get a list of network adapters, but clicking them gets you nothing.