Agree it will change things, but it changes things in the most cliched, unchanging way possible. If they have kids, they put down roots, and its harder to leave. This whole ending was about not changing anything. Leave them frozen in time. Which IMO is the easiest way to end a show.
Yes, all sorts of things *could* happen. That plane could go down and they all die. But we didn't see *anything* happen. We didn't even see any implications that anything would happen (i.e., jobs offers for Sheldon and Amy elsewhere).
I don't think people mean nothing changed since we met the characters. What people mean is, the ending of the show indicates nothing has or will change at the end of the show.
Here's another way this could have ended, which I would have respected more:
- Nobel winners Sheldon and Amy get job offers at MIT (or some Ivy league East Coast school) and go there, where Sheldon must now break in a whole new bunch of snobby, East Coast types who think they are smart and must realize Sheldon is smarter.
- Howard is called back to the space program to lead an initiative that helps scientists become astronauts, where his fears and vulnerabilities are a strength.... and Bernie's book about the astronaut becomes a smash hit. She leaves her job at the drug company to become a children's book author who doesn't take shit from publishers.
- Penny sticks to not having kids, and she is recruited to another company to a C-level position where she is fulfilled and happy, while ironically Leonard is spotted by a Hollywood scout and is cast in a new TV show about a blue collar family in the Midwest (hint, hint, wink)
- Raj decides to go to London and see if it works with Anya, and his dad coincidentally moves to London as well where they will spend more time together and seem to realize the value of that
- Stuart marries his girlfriend and opens another comic book store
- And while all these things are signaled and don't happen yet, the clear message is that through these changes, they all remain friends.
I would have liked that a lot better. And it shows effort.