Having done a bit of poking around, it turns out that the opinion on the new image search is divided - people either say it stinks, or don't actually use the word 'stinks' but prefer 'sucks'.
There are some workarounds at the following link. The Greasemonkey alternative at the start works for me, thank goodness. Google could change the interface again anytime, though, which would break the scripts. But for now, it's all good.
I particularly like another and more elegant solution, though: if you go to your Google Search Preferences page and select either "Elmer Fudd" or "Pirate" as the language you want to see tips in, that also forces the basic images page. Ahaaar, mateys.