you're right, at the first sight I had the same feeling.
After looking at some video reviews I think that we will see a bunch of user cases.
IMO, payments and phone calls are, by far, the most important user tasks to perform with the touch bar.
I don't know in terms of gesture how easy it will be to touch the bar itself, it's not in the comfort zone.
In my case, for instance, it's not easy to reach it because I use my MacBook always connected with additional screens and I don't use the laptop keyboard.
Anyway I do like the new product!