So what do we do?
First off, you stop and think before you take any update to KitKat. Any apps installed to the SD card will lose their data when you update and need re-installed, and some of the apps you use probably will stop working because they have not been updated. The good news is that other apps have been updated — PocketCasts, for example — so you get to try all new apps.
Forgoing the KitKat update is an option, but not one we'd recommend.
You could also never update to KitKat, which I see a lot of people claiming they have planned. I think that's a bit crazy, but it is an option and it will keep things working like they always have — both the good and the bad — in regards to your external storage.
Or you can install a custom ROM that "fixes" the issue. It's a fairly easy thing to change, but the folks who make your phone aren't allowed to "fix" it or they can't retain their Google certification for Google Play and the rest of Google's apps.
Or you can huff and puff, and start a petition.
Remember, Android — whether we like it or not — is a work in progress. Google could very well have some sort of magic fix for this whole problem planned, and we'll see it in a future version of Android. Or it could just not care and take the stance that SD cards should only be used to store media, and should be kept seperate from the operating system.
We'll just have to see.