Re: They missed a trick
You can have ASCII logging. A simple Google would show you how to set it up, assuming your dist doesn't already. It would also explain the rationale for binary logging (e.g. forward secure sealing, capturing extra information, better indexing, tamper detection etc.).
I have no idea what you mean about ntp and udev being kept separate. Perhaps you're referring to the fact that systemd package contains a lot of low-level commands that you are free to use or not use as your requirements dictate. Systemd provides a SNTP (S for simple) client called timesync. You are completely free to install a full blown client-server ntpd if you desire but many deployments don't need that complexity and a simple NTP client means they can avoid installing ntpd altogether.
But hey, systemd is evillll!!! Let the dance of derp continue.