Full disclosure: I’ve been playing around with Lion (via the Developer Seeds) for about two months now. By the time I installed the App Store bits on my personal and work machines I had totally forgotten about the scrolling change. I no longer notice it. And, I have to state upfront that I am a big fan of the change.
Do yourself a favor: leave the scrolling behavior in Lion alone. Don’t “go back” to the old way of scrolling. Why?
1) This is the way things are going to work moving forward (at least on Apple devices). You can fight it if you like or you can just bite the bullet and devote the minutes-hours it is going to take to retrain your brain/fingers.
2) If you change your scrolling behavior then any time you use someone else’s Mac it is going to “feel” wrong. Again, this will only become more pronounced as time passes.
3) Going back to the old way is tantamount to taking one step closer to being that old fart who can no longer program their proverbial VCR. Believe me, your children will have absolutely no trouble with the scrolling change; they’ve grown up with iPhones/iPads - it just makes sense to them.
Imagine this: you are a kid again, you are standing in your parent’s kitchen. You are looking at a role of paper towels which are hanging, horizontally, from under one of the kitchen cabinets. You are a kid, so you can’t quite see the top of the paper towel roll, but you know that there is a word written up there. What do you do?
You place your index finger on the roll and *pull down* to rotate the roll so that the word “scrolls” into view. If you want to return the word to its original location you *push up* on the roll. That is simply how the physical world works. That is also the interaction model utilized by your iOS-based devices. And that, now that Lion is out there, is how Apple expects you to interact with your Mac. I can assure you that this wasn’t a last minute decision on their part.
Now, let me help you out a little bit if you don’t buy into my take on the change: everything I’ve said thus far doesn’t really make sense when it comes to the Mac! Why? On an iOS you interact *directly* with the content; you are “touching the paper towel”. On a Mac (it makes no difference whether you are you are using a mouse or a trackpad) you do *not* interact with content directly. The mouse/trackpad represents a level of abstraction that causes a disconnect between your intention and how the onscreen content reacts. The only way to truly solve this problem is to implement a touch-screen interaction model: exactly like the iPad. But that is an absolutely horrible idea for countless reasons (notice that Apple has not even attempted to go that route in any of their commercial laptops/displays). Imagine holding your arm(s) out in front of you for hours at a time. And do you really want people putting their grubby, Krispy Kreme glaze encrusted fingers all over your beautiful new Thunderbolt Display? No. No you do not.
So, Apple’s “natural scrolling” feature in Lion is not the perfect solution for you and you Mac. But it is the solution for the time being. So suck it up.
If you have to constantly switch back and forth between a Mac and a PC then I feel for you. My intent is not to seem snarky - switching is an unavoidable reality for millions of people. I don’t use Windows but supposedly it isn’t difficult to mimic Lion’s scrolling behavior on Windows if that would make the change more palatable.