I have begun to use the Old Search simulator as requested. Here are a couple of first impressions. But even before that, let me repeat a little background I've posted before.
I was a dyed in the wool Old Search user who felt (and still does) that the first releases of New Search were extraordinarly dysfunctional. However, a number of significant improvements were made to New Search, and I now use New Search exclusively. However, I always use New Search such that my searches are done in exact mode and such that the results are displayed in Summarized by Category mode. I use wildcards extensively, and I use a number of the (relatively new) goodies in New Search such as searching for similar names and searching for a county and its neighbors.
I still find using New Search as it's more or less intended to be used with ranked searches displayed in Sorted by relevance mode to be totally intolerable. I don't see how anybody can accomplish anything searching in that manner. I say that in full knowledge that a number of researchers whom I greatly respect do use New Search with ranked searches displayed by relevance, and they seem to have great success. I can't understand how that can be, so I just do an Alice in Wonderland and choose to believe impossible things.
All of which to say that the Old Search simulator has very much the look and feel of the way I already use New Search every day of my life. So it seems fine at this point.