This is a misnomer Legends fans seem to cling to. His words were taken out of context. He said it took him buy surprise, and he struggled with it, but after talking with Rian and seeing all the moving pieces said it made sense.
THAT said-- there's no doubt in my mind people in your camp will fully DETEST Luke in this movie because he's not the happy go luck infallible hope and love wizard from the EU.
I think it's hilarious that this is your impression of Luke from Legends. It could not be farther from truth, especially when Luke is the same age as in The Last Jedi. The people I know who hated Luke in this movie ALSO hated his character development in Legends.
I can't rank TLJ yet. I didn't like it as much overall as The Force Awakens. However, the scene with Luke on Crait is probably my favorite in the entire saga, and I like TLJ the more I think about it. So I'm unsure where it will eventually fall.
I agree with your take on the Luke/Kylo scene. When I first saw the movie I thought there would just be more after it. I thought Luke and Kylo would actually fight. I thought Kylo would lead troops into the base with the Resistance still there, Rey shows up and they have a rematch allowing the Resistance to leave. So when they don't fight and it turns out Luke wasn't "really" there it's almost like "WTF". But when you go back and watch again it, without those expectations of more to come, and just enjoy it then it really is a beautiful scene. From the visual of the 2 of them standing across, which is one of the great shots of the whole saga, to Luke's dialogue it really is great.
And really it plays into so much of what Yoda told Luke in ESB. "Adventure, heh, excitement, heh, A Jedi does not crave these things" and also "your weapons, you will not need them." Luke got one over on Kylo by using the Force, rather than a lightsaber.
The first time you see it, it really is hard to accept how they went about this but when you rewatch it and think about it, it really is the correct way.
Also loved while Luke is walking out to face him the awed looks on the faces of the remaining Resistance fighters. Luke really is a legend to them and that's how they all envisioned him to be. How he should look, how he should act, how powerful he should be. The actual man could never live up to that legend, no man could, not even Luke Skywalker.