@Logicfest -- I don't know if credit hours are that confusing at all. You've got the recommended course load and you can choose to exceed it or come up a little short of it during tough semesters.
That whole system is a little confusing when people first get into it, but they figure it out fast enough.
I notice you mentioned you figured it out quickly and that is what happens for pretty much everyone. If you were in a trimester system that measured by credits, that might be easier but I do wonder about something. If you transferred to a system that used hours, how on earth would you translate those credits from your college into hours?
If everyone uses hours, that is a uniform system and transferring wouldn't be such a problem (I don't think it would be such a problem, at least).