I loath annotations and the absurd pseudo-language that comes along with them. This is my #1 pet peeve with Symfony and Doctrine.
Laravel was EASIER to use than Symfony explicitly because it used PHP, not annotation pseudo-language. You a PHP developer? Cool. You can use Laravel. Don't know this weird PHP annotation pseudo-language? Cool. You can use Laravel.
Annotations also suck because comments should never affect the flow of code. Ever.
This is seriously bothersome.
Even the new "middleware" replacement for filters appears to be less useful (at least in its present state). Before, you could inject a route, a request, and a response into a filter, meaning you could use Laravel's route matching to help you quickly find matching slugs. Maybe I'll reserve judgement on this one, but filters as they were were incredibly useful as another layer of service provision. The problem with current service provider call order is that they fire before any routes have been matched, but filters fired AFTER a route had been matched, and that made them extremely useful.