Food for thought.
One of my own kids (name withheld to protect the innocent) came home the other day with a difficult piece of reading. She complained that she had to analyze it but wasn't allowed to discuss themes or make connections to her own life.
"It's not supposed to be fun," she said. "Why would authors write something if nobody was going to enjoy it."
As educators, we definitely need to challenge our students to grapple with difficult texts. We don't have to steal the joy.
Great summary of the dangerous cliff we could throw ourselves over, in this transition to CCSS, Scott. However, smart educators know better than that. They will maintain a balance.
The alternative is that we all keep happily reading along without a reasonable level of rigor. A steady diet of cotton candy doesn't do anyone any good.