With so many AP holders in the park spending money at restaurants and shops, it's no wonder that these places are better maintained than, say, attractions, which are supposed to attract paid admissions to the park. PP saw this, and went with it.
I prefer no annual passes, a drop in admissions prices, and some better off-season bargains. My employee club gets a whopping $8 off. Wow, and extra Coke or two during the day. I can recall half-price employee club days. That's when we'd go. Not the middle of summer, not holiday season, but February or September.
APs create a short-term positive cash flow (people pay for admissions before actually going), but the promise of getting what you pay for (I think: clean park, well-maintained, open rides and attractions) never needs to be fulfilled. Management doesn't have to work to get people in to DL (and DCA, in theory). It only has to find ways to get money out of your wallet after you get in. Thus the restaurants and shops.
Only by forcing Management to work at getting people into the park will Disneyland (and DCA, in theory) get better rides and attractions. This is why WDW keeps getting attractions (that and the wealth of land), while DL gets cheapened versions of successful rides.
If not a full dismantling of APs, I would suggest to Disney to drop the premium passes without the blackout dates, and only sell SoCal passes, with more blackout dates. Fill the park during the off-season with APs, I say.
Otherwise, it's up to AP holders themselves to rethink their renewal. Perhaps delay it longer than they normally do. When the AP holders don't renew, perhaps Disney would then get the message to put something better in the park to bring back the big, upfront bucks.
Whenever a customer pays for a product or service ahead of time, the need to satisfy the customer diminishes. Think: required tips at restaurants (for large parties), health club memberships, APs.