While I dislike the headlights-grille combo and the small size of the headlights, my biggest gripe with the new F30 design is the bold horizontal line on the front hood. Not only does it push the BMW logo too close to the grille, but it contrasts all the other lines on the car. It's hard for my eyes to ignore it. Sort of like a turd in a punch bowl :-)
1) I don't necessarily buy the argument that it's there because of European pedestrian impact laws, because Audi just redesigned their 2013 A4 front and it doesn't have a plastic hood portion. Also, the VW Jetta and Golf are fairly new designs and they do not have a plastic hood portion either. See Audi below.
2) Plus, even if it was mandatory by law, I feel there are much better ways to design better hood lines. For instance, Lamborghini does an excellent job in handling their front line. They make it look like it was intentially designed to blend with the rest of the vehicle. Notice how the line jogs around the Lambo logo. Lambo treats the line as an integral part of the car's design, unlike BMW which treats it like an afterthought. Lambo's hood line has a slight bend which matches the rest of the front end, unlike BMW which looks like they used a perfectly straight ruler.
IMO, another hood design which deals with the front line issue OK is the Volvo S40. With the Volvo, the hood lines match up with the other lines of the car nicely. Just my 2 cents.
By the way, if I had to pick the best front end design in the current BMW line-up I'd pick the X3. It's very traditional, clean, bold, and looks modern. :-)