So tonight I got to implement the changes I wrote about in this post.
I think they went very, very smoothly.
The Areas of Knowledge work very, very well and it's fairly easy to work out the different levels of knowledge in a minute or two.
The only class that still had Skill Dice was the Rogue and I'm seriously contemplating just changing that to gaining Advantage in those areas.
I think it streamlined things to simply ask the players to make Ability checks and slightly reduced the clutter on the character sheets.
Proficiencies didn't really come up, but I can see them being useful. I have a character that's a musician and simply listing the instruments he played as Proficiencies was easy and painless.
Honestly, I'm even contemplating spell lists, I have some creative players and may simply define basic attack and healing spells and then let them generate their spell effects on the fly...we'll see about that one.
I'm not sure when we'll see a new packet, but I'm pretty happy with what I have.