Times have changed. To me the biggest mistake YX made was when they split the fleet into Signature seating for the 717's and Saver seating for the MD-80's. It reminded me of the Continental/Continental Lite fiasco blurring the brand. In hindsight, making both models dual class with maybe a 40/60 Signature/Saver layout would have been a more unified approach from a marketing standpoint.
More broadly, the biggest issue with YX was that Uncle Timmy didn't have the proper vision or leadership to adapt YX's business model into something more lucrative and profitable in a changing industry.
The 2x2 seating on the DC-9s/MD-80s/717s was great during the 90s when airlines made money hand over fist, but taking out an entire column of seats just wasn't financially feasible in a changing, post-9/11 industry.
Unfortunately, I think Hoeksema was too reluctant/afraid to turn YX into a dual-class airline, so instead you wound up with the disjointed product of having MD-80s with 2x3 seating serving the leisure routes to Florida, while the 717s kept the 2x2 seating on the business markets.
Towards the end, they experimented with adding dual-class seating (the MD-80s received a handful of 2x2 seats up front, while the 717s were to be split about half/half), but it was too messy.
In hindsight, Hoeksema should have just stepped down and handed the reins to someone who could have steered YX towards a more JetBlue-like product where they could have still offered a premium class product, but in a way that was more financially lucrative for what they had.
Instead, he chose to go down with the ship.
To be fair, I'm not sure we would have been any better off by combining with FL; my gut tells me that the MKE hub would have eventually drawn down either way.
That said, I personally wish the name would be left to lay at rest. Midwest is done. There won't be another like it.
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.