We seem to have had several serious instances of loss of functionality when installing newer versions of CiviCRM. A lot of software projects have a list of breaking changes as each new version is released. Without an organized official list, I am afraid the developers might not actually be aware of breaking changes. The main losses (the ACL one filed as a bug) are:
ACLs no longer work with smart groups (this was working for us as of ~4.5.6).
ACLs don't even work with static groups anymore.
3. Bulk email, cron + CivicMail, no longer works. The cli.php cron method no longer works. We had bulk email working as of version ~4.5.6 using cli.php. I spent hours working with wp_cli recently on 4.7.4 and I can't get that to work either.
I would go back immediately to v4.5.6 if I could, but the schema changes to the database prevent this.
Edit: I fixed #3 -- I was missing the 'view all contacts' permission for the cron user.