Naruto gets a ton of respect from his peers now...even kakashi just praised him.
And right now...he's trying to create a jutsu that the 4th and even kakashi couldn't do...Mind you...he's doing it WITHOUT the kyuubi...
And Naruto isn't as dumb as he was in the beginning of the series. He's a ton more mature and effective now. I remember when this guy couldn't even throw a kunai straight and now its second nature to him. The 3 year difference did'nt neccesarily (spelin?) teach him NEW stuff...it just drastically improved what he could already do. Which IMO is just as important as learning new stuff.
Personality wise, he's still Naruto just a bit more mature and bringing him along in a mission is actually a GOOD idea now...not a BAD one as seen by his peers and the Kage. He further developed his rasengan into the Oodama Rasengan (used on fake itachi) and uses his clones more effectively. The 3 year difference wasn't really to show you Jounin Naruto all of a sudden. It was really to do the other characters some justice like Sakura and Hinata. It was the only way to develop em without you having to watch a training arc on each one of em, not to mention that he can now make naruto do something wise in the middle of a fight without everyone going WHERE DA HELL DID THAT COME FROM.
Be alone from birth and still try to grow while fitting in with folks who openly dont like you. Either you wear your emotions on your sleeve and cry or you keep it inside and smile. I'm glad Naruto smiles.
Aizen is gangsta for making everyone wear white.
Tousen: "So what are we going to wear anyway? how do we tell each other apart from the shinigami?"
Aizen: "I GOT IT....lets wear exactly what they wear...but make it WHITE!"
Ichimaru: "OH SH*T, now THATS gangsta!"
Tousen: "....even I wouldn't say that..."
Aizen: "Loosen up Tousen...check this out...lets show him Gin!"
Tousen: "... 0_0 ..."