I've noticed the issues you've brought up (and others) and these are the only conclusions I've been able to come up with:
- Branding, I see the word SYNC no less than three times when just listening to my iPod
- Artificially limiting the software so it doesn't compete with MyFordTouch
Personally I suspect a bit of all three. SYNC and the radio controls have significant, glaring problems in my opinion. Also, I too miss having a pause button.