“Emacs 24.4, where is my good old newline?”
Since Emacs 24.4 came out, RET and C-j were swapped.
I really tried to adapt to the new trend, but it wasn’t worth it. Even though I like indentation conveniences, I prefer well-behaved and raw newlines (maybe I’m too much of a control freak).
Others are also struggling, and end up turning off electric-indent-mode. I think disabling electric indents only on rets is enough (e.g., it’s cool with reserved words).
Following rebind does the job. Add it to your .emacs:
(when (fboundp 'electric-indent-mode) (global-set-key (kbd "RET") 'electric-indent-just-newline))
It’s a little rough, for sure. But avoids hooks, suggested everywhere as workarounds (I’m getting too old for this stuff).