This is getting ridiculous. The absolute last thing that should have restricted access from the eye dropper in the color picker is the foreground and background colors. I feel like I'm about to start laughing at how crazy this is. I can't believe how slow and broken this version of Photoshop is. I could go on for days talking about everything that has made me slower because of this version. For example, why would I ever need to wait 3 seconds for the new document window to open so I can just hit enter and paste my clipboard. I can't be the only person who copies and pastes from their documents to quickly make an isolated image.
For the Eyedropper issue, see this thread: Eydropper tool limitation
For the New dialog issue, look in the Prefs under General, and check Use Legacy New Dialog. The "New" New Dialog is definitely half-baked.
Thank you so much! It's good to know that it's just a bug with the two column tool bar.