It is good news that you keep skills after a respec. In your skill book, or as books in your inventory?
If it's the former, I wonder if that is the way to get the "all talents learned" achievement. I can't see any other way to get it on a single character.
If accurate, I think it's a good change. Those deals made too many talents a poor long term investment.
My opinion is that poor Talents
were what made talents a poor investment. But instead of making the bad Talents better, instead they nerfed the alternative into worthlessness. I do not think that was a good approach to the problem.
At the very least, people will still remember when the Talent exchange was useful, and they'll see it for what it is.
...nor do I think any adventurer should ever be like "Wow, that demon cut me a totally awesome deal..! What a swell fellow.".
I don't agree with that in this particular case, and to explain why, I'll reword what you said."Wow, that Stronghold service NPC cut me a totally awesome deal..! What a swell fellow."
Because that is all the demon is. He's an NPC in the stronghold who provides a service. In terms of the story he does not work for the bad guys, he is not plotting against you or is scheming to overthrow you, nor does he give a misleading deal to try and trick you.
In all respects, the stronghold demon has no agency or role outside of being a service-providing NPC.