I missed the release of the new 1.5.0 version of Subversion. Its funny, actually. This was somewhere around June (the blog post lacks a proper date), and I didn't see it mentioned on any of the blogs I follow.
Anyway, its out and I was expecting it to see the new merge tracking stuff. One of my gripes with Subversion is that yes, branching is cheap, but the merge part is awful hard to do and puts much of the load into your lap.
From my superficial first look, all I can say is this: what a mess!
I need to read the documentation more thoroughly but it seems full of special cases and workarounds for common scenarios that should just work.
For example, the "Reflective/Cyclic merges" that are mentioned, are the most common ones for me when I'm using feature branches.
I think this phrase is telling:
The only way to truly solve this is to invent a new merge algorithm in Subversion that does not rely simply on revisions
Of course you can think that branches are not good for you, and that they slow you down. I think its a matter of personal organization. Multiple active branches fit my brain and my workflow just fine, and I love to organize stuff with them.