I do think the set-up for the Standalone--"read through the previous scenarios in the campaign and make all those decisions. Then you may start."--is a clunky, but probably necessary. And a good sign of how strong the narrative throughlines will be from encounter to encounter.
Agreed, especially since past the core set I'm probably going to be playing mostly standalone (can't see my family committing to an 8-game play session, and definitely don't want to wait for a whole campaign to release before I can play and re-play scenarios).
I'm thinking that I'll start my own document providing an independent setup description for each scenario so I don't have to re-read the whole campaign log each time.