Presumably then rjo when you applied you went through the Replace Online service, whereas because the damage to mine was so minor I went through the Renew Online procedure.
Replace Online is for damaged, lost or stolen passports. Identity confirmation is usually necessary for lost or stolen, but for damaged only (I think) where the photo page, chip, laminate are damaged and/or details are indecipherable.
I completely share your frustration. If it’s going to take 7-10 weeks one could accept that far more easily if they just said when, i.e. ‘your application should be completed by 10 July’ or whenever. As it is we are simply in a fog.
Ironically, in 2011 my passport was stolen (in Athens). I came back on an emergency passport. I applied for the replacement passport the day after I came back (on a Tuesday). The new passport arrived on the Friday. Happy days. Mind you, if that hadn’t happened I’d have renewed the stolen passport in 2014 and not had the problem now.