Honestly, from a sole consumer's standpoint, there is little to no benefit for me to go premium. I've been an SL user for nearly 11 years and in that time, I've never really felt that there is a huge benefit to hold a premium account. Like many, my favorite hobby on SL is shopping and the stipend would cover one to two items per week MAX. The costs outweigh the benefits imo. For $99 annually, on top of having to buy Lindens to simply spend in world, I don't feel that it's worth it. Sure, the early event access and land are nice but those still aren't worth $99 to me. $99 USD in Lindens would roughly be around 25K lindens. I would much rather spend that money on products within the game where I'd actually receive something useful to me (clothing/decor/skins/etc) and my gameplay.
I did not make this post with the intention to bash anyone who loves being a premium member. I think it's beneficial if you want land, need the customer support, are a creator, are a blogger, etc. But for many of us "basic" members, if this is an effort to entice us to go premium, I feel it does the opposite. A "possible" new linden home on a small parcel with a tiny amount of prims/land impact, a very small stipend and a chance at entering events earlier than some is still not enough for me to see the benefits.
As many others have said, groups have been an issue for a while but trying to downsize them for basic members is honestly putting a band-aid over a bullet hole. The entire system of "groups" needs to be overhauled instead of penalizing those of us who, for whatever reason, would prefer not to be premium. It's already frustrating enough having to backtrack through group notices to make sure that something wasn't missed or overlooked because IMs were capped or notices never delivered (which, btw I receive offline messages but many times I never receive an email even though I log on to an "IMs capped" message). To add another cap onto that already limited one is frustrating.
I feel for creators, who are being stretched thin more and more and I also understand that LL is a business, first and foremost. All I am asking is to please also have some consideration for those of us "basic members" who also substantially contribute to SL's economy.