The short version:
It was a mechanic which discouraged people from actually flying ships. That is, discouraged them from playing the game.
The longer version:
While clone costs aren’t really high, until you start getting into the really high levels of SP, they form a mental block for people. ‘You’re flying a Rifter. Your Pod costs more than the ship’. You don’t get any benefit from upgrading your clone. You just don’t get smacked with a penalty.
It’s a tax on PvP, which gets worse the longer you play. The better you get, the more you lose when you die. Sure, you’ll find PvPers who say that they rarely lose their pod. You’ll find that these people spend the vast majority of their time in, probably, Lowsec. While it’s possible to lose a pod there, you have to be pretty bad to do so. Wormholes and null, however, are the land of bubbles. Pity the poor Sabre pilot, who is almost certain to lose his Pod, as he’s probably going to be inside his own bubble when he dies.
If there was actually a meaningful choice with Clone upgrades, that would be another matter. But there isn’t. You either upgrade your clone, or you’re an idiot (disclaimer: I miss Minmatar Battleship 5)
So, CCP removing medical clone levels is a good thing. They’ve stated that they’re not finished there, that the removal is a quality of life change, which opens up more possibilities for future changes. Sure, they could have waited. Some people have said they should have. I disagree. Removing a gangrenous limb, without having a prosthetic available, isn’t a mistake. Remove it now. Put something better in, when it’s ready.
Is it making Eve easier? A little. But if you’re really complaining about someone not needing to remember something before undocking, well, there’s nothing I can say which you’re going to listen to. Hardness, here, is nothing to do with skill. It’s just annoying crap.
Being Podded still has consequences. Death still matters. Someone with a full snake set isn’t going to brush off a death. But they got to make a choice there. They chose to risk the implants, and got a reward for it. Clone grade doesn’t really enter into the risk/reward there. You can choose to risk a skill. Your reward is, you pay a little less. Not really meaningful against the penalty of losing a great deal of skill points.
Oh, and yes, you’ll no longer be able to get someone to pod themselves down to no skills. My tear bucket is over there. Go fill it.