Now that I've had time to warm up to the change, I can say that I actually like the new SG scratch system. It sucks getting dupes, yes, but you know what sucks even more? Items that are made completely unobtainable once their limited-time window ends.
I absolutely agree that item bloat is an issue that needs to be addressed in some way or another, and I too am curious to know how SEGA intends to handle it.
Perhaps right now we are looking at the "Chapter 1" SG scratch pool, ie Aelio themed stuff.... and the winter update will mark the beginning of a new, separate "chapter 2" SG scratch pool featuring NPC outfits from the desert area?
If that were the case, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Ch1 stuff retired from free pulls, but left available as its own standalone paid scratch so people could still have access to that selection. Hmmm.