Hi Dominic. Thank you for your reply and taking the time to explain. I'm happy to see that someone understands and knows about the behavior I'm talking about. However, your answer is not entirely satisfying to me, nor is it a great solution for improving the workflow (in my opinion). Also, but I may be wrong, I think your answer isn't 100% correct. Let me try and explain:
1. I just happened to check on my Macbook (not my main studio computer) and found that on this slightly older version of Studio One v3 running there, the automation is created as it used to be and in the way I prefer / describe in my original post. This is version 184.108.40.206191 to be exact. That is quite a big difference from version 2.6.5. Seems that this new way of handling automation has only been implemented anywhere between now and 4 to 5 months ago, which is about what I remember to be correct.
2. (Back to the studio computer now, running version 220.127.116.11191) When I don't use the hand icon to drag and let Studio One create a new track for me holding the automation lanes, no separate tracks for each plug-in instance are created like you say. Also, no plugin names show up. I have multiple instances of the same insert running and all I see is the name of that one parameter 'mix' three times in a row. All this is located under one single new track that has been created automatically and now holds all the automation lanes of the insert fx that are on an audio track.It seems to me that any benefits that you mention are not present at all. It just creates all these automation lanes in exactly the same way it used to be, only now under a new track instead of under the audio track itself.
3. Even is what you propose would work, I think it is not beneficial to workflow at all. Take any situation where you have 3 audio tracks and on each are 5 different (or the same) insert fx plugins. Lets say I want to go with the flow and start automating various parameters of all these insert fx. The way you describe it, 15 new tracks would be created (one for each plug-in instance) holding all the lanes related to that insert fx. You mention grouping these into folders for organization, etc. What I get from this is just a lot of separate tracks being created and automation that belongs to an audio track being divided under multiple different tracks. To me the most important association is that between the automation parameter and the track on which the automation takes place. Imagine your song ending up with 50+ audio tracks and lots of complex automation going on. How many separate automation tracks and groups / folders will you end up with and how easy is it to find what you're looking for really? I don't think it will be easy at all.
4. Lets say for a minute that you like it one way and I (and some others as well I can imagine) prefer it the old way. Why not just make this an option you can select to have it one way or another? After all, like I mention above, up until version 18.104.22.168191 it used to be exactly how I like it. Then a change is made that seems to be good for some people (though I haven't seen it actually work properly this way) and bad for others. Bug fixes and additional features are always good, but an actual 'change' in how something works when you have a user-base that is used to it at least deserves an option to turn it on or off. Even better, you could have the best of both world if under this audio track where you record the automation sub-tracks are created for each plugin on that track, holding the automation lanes nice and organized. Or even simpler: why can't a description of a parameter like 'mix' just include the name of that plugin right above or next to it? No need for separate tracks if you ask me.
6. Finally, recording automation first and then dragging those automation lanes (one by one like you say) to the audio track just seems like correcting something that used to be easier and require a lot less steps. Also, when you're recording automation you don't want to think about having to find all these automation lanes and moving them afterwards. You just want to make some simple automation recordings and be done. Creating automation lanes and setting these up beforehand is in no way an improvement to workflow. Who knows what I'll want to automate on the fly. I need to plan and organize first? I don't prefer that at all.
Sorry if the post is a bit long and formal, but this issue has been bothering me every day since it started happening. Any help / advice or just the implementation of an option to go back to the old way would be so fantastic. Thanks.