I don’t think Memeorandum is ugly despite what anyone says, even when, except for that “butt-ugly” comment in the last sentence, they are praising Memeorandum. (Later: Geez, Heather Green picks up the ugly meme.)
Someone with a print design point of reference may not be drawn to the aesthetics of Memeorandum, but someone who primarily accesses news via an RSS newsreader will recognize the future of the web when they look at your site.
Keep your site ugly and fast and on-task.
I’m not saying all websites should be unconcerned with aesthetics and design. Some should be works of art. Some should wow us with their beauty.
But “services” like Memorandum, that can be accessed in many ways via different types of browsers and newsreaders, both via a computer and mobile device should not be designed to look good in one specific context, but to work for those who use it in a myriad of ways, on a wide range of devices and configurations.
Bottomline: As you know, Gabe, I’ve been a Memorandum cultist since day-one. I told you that at BlogNashville. I am happy lots more people are discovering — and telling the world — how cool what you are doing is.
PS: You can take my design advice with a grain of salt, however. Someone who would velcro a nano and Treo together won’t mind how Memeorandum looks, even it were ugly, as long as it does all the cool things it does.