The whole "Recommended hotfixes" thing came out of Microsoft's broken support model for Windows 7/Server 2008 R2.
The original support model was to release hotfixes for individual issues, test them more fully, and then release a service pack. After SP1, Microsoft decided to stop releasing service packs for Windows 7/Server 2008 R2, but they kept making hotfixes. Since those hotfixes were never going to get into a service pack, the "Recommended hotfixes" pages started popping up so that customers that needed them could be made aware of them.
I'm super glad that Microsoft fixed this and went to the cumulative update model. Having to try to hunt down hotfixes was very time consuming. I've got over 400 hotfixes in my Server 2008 R2 archive that I had to individually review and evaluate (not to mention track down and download).