Not my experience, pretty much all the top extensions require such permissions.
I disagree. So far every Chrome extension I looked into had serious issues. See for example this blog post. Note that this behavior is totally in line with Chrome Web Store policies.
Glad to hear that but most Chrome extension developers don’t seem to have such sentiments - and frankly, there isn’t much there to stop them.
That’s what WebExtensions are about. Personally, I have doubts that this will result in a noteworthy improvement, but we’ll see.