Personally I'm not using neither gui file browser nor consolekit session and make use of the group based permission because I know how to handle things, and I can look up eventual barriers in my way quickly and reliably enough. I mount usb drives manually and generally lay hands on my system to keep things running, I mean, in a sane way. This is the first time I hear that this way of treating things would be discouraged, and I'm asking myself if this is just a sysadmin's gripe and if it will be possible in the future. Let's say I'm pretty sure it will be possible, since I guess I'm not the only one who avoids these additional sources of errors aka. software layers like ck/dbus/stuff. I left $certain-other-distro for some reason, and don't want to be forced back on this layer cake again.
Since I started using Linux way back in the days of RedHat 5.2 there has been a massive amount of abstraction and obfuscation of even basic functions without easily found and understood (by me at least) explanation and/or how to make it work.
Most of this is well done and sneaks past because it just works but there are some cases where substantial, from the end-user perspective, changes to relatively basic functions, like USB sticks, halt/reboot from within GUI.
Of course "the Arch way" forbids a simple script within the package to fix these issues.