There are actually two ways to get access the console log again. One is through Console.app and one is via terminal.
Go to File --> New System Log Query...
your expression should be: [Facility] [is equal to] "com.apple.console"
and you can can make the 'Search Name' equal to "Console Messages".
Once you click OK, you will return the same functionality to your console.app that you had previous to 10.7.
symply type tye following and strike return:
terminal then prints all the conosoel messages to the standard output (your screen), then exits back to the command prompt.
If you want to clean it up and keep the console listing live (waiting for new messages to appear), type the following:
syslog -B -C -w
This displays yoru console log, but only messages that have ben generated since the last boot, and waits for new messages.
strike ^C (command+c) to exit
For more information, you can use the manpage for syslog to better understand the tool set.
Hope this helps.
Just FYI the removal fo Console Messages from console.app persists through 10.9.2 (time of this writing).
Also FYI, with the terminal method it is quite handy to monitor multiple systems (or rack full of xserves like I still have the pleasure of managing) via SSH