I'm not a layouter nor an electronics engineer by trade, mea culpa
The libs I got contain what I've drawn and put in there only. I don't run around with much dead-weight - yet.
If I look for something I know the lib it's in, I don't even have those problems really.
I also don't (need) use the filters.
But if I were to guess - any noob that comes along for a ride that tries to find something.. he's got no real idea what KiCAD library creators/maintainers/contributors call the part he is looking for - he can try to find the part via 3 ways:
- guess a filter
- browse the libraries
- ask someone else
Which one will be the weapon of choice if it should happen now and involve a navigated approach (to not miss results)?
Next after that will be - ok, I got a result here, how much else is there and what are my choices?
Can he do that safely with filters or does he need to browse?
To sum it up, I don't even know if this tree vs flat-pane thing in the end might even be unsolvable to make all parties happy at the same time.
The pro/amateur with a big library will use filters mostly while the noob might need the browsing ability that gives him orientation at all times.
Maybe similar to the GUI vs command line deal.