Klout, Facebook and now Twitter know better than you who is important. They do, because they have told themselves so. Klout understood that your network was valuable to you, but they insisted that those people they found inherently important were objectively so, by being influential to other people. Your network was less valuable to you than these A-list people over there. And Facebook took a more objective stance, promoting people who paid, unless you click settings that say you absolutely, positively want to see other people.
Now Twitter is joining the ranks of companies who know better that you, with Twitter ranking. Based on purely objective criteria, of course, like size of followers and other numbers that don't mean a thing, Twitter is going to prioritize your feed for you. You'll have a chance to hear more from people who other people feel are important, while your own contacts will be de-prioritized. Sounds like a great plan, doesn't it?
Well, you don't have to roll over on this. Using tools that already exist, you can preserve your feed.
Twitter Lists is the simplest way to make sure you don't miss anyone's post. Put your friends, business network and news sources in custom lists. Check your lists rather than your main feed for news and comment that are relevant to you. This is especially important if you regularly talk to people with small followings. Twitter is going to helpfully de-prioritize these posters for you. If the person you need to follow most only has 100 followers, put that person in a List, so you never miss a tweet.
Use a Third-Party Tool
For the moment, you can use a third-party tool such as Hootsuite or a Twitter-ownedtool like Tweetdeck to prioritize and organize your feed. Even better, you can use simple filtering tools to keep certain irrelevant terms off you feed entirely.
Use the Phone/Email/Events
Twitter is a great tool for keeping up with contacts and acquaintances, but sometimes going old-school solves the problem faster than 20 tweets. Organize a meet-up or use an industry event to create that real-life List.
Get your duckies lined up before Twitter hit the Rank button and you'll be ready for anything.