If you are searching in multiple content type I usually check "posts" and then at the bottom change "relevance" to "date". That is just my preference as I'm usually looking for recent stuff. Not sure why it doesn't default to date but it is what it is.
I too don't like it as well as older verisons of vb but whatcha gonna do.
Also it would yield results from the political forum, those threads are not indexed which I find frustrating in ferreting out problems but it is what it is.