On that note, we even find a strange appreciation for the ugliness (if you can call it that) of www.drudgereport.com, which has never really changed it's "design" since getting on the web 10 years ago. It's an eminently readable and usable site, according to many experts, but it's backed up by the fact that, love him or leave him, drudgereport.com has over 500 million hits a month.
I think of drudgreport.com like a jeep with no doors, top, or maybe even muffler. Just raw news-moving power. The main content of the page is only 11k for HTML, and one graphic header of a few K. Other images are slurped in but they don't affect the HTML load time. We have two SEO and design experiments live, which will be filling up with content over the next few days. Bon Report, at www.bonreport.com, and E-Ink Report, at www.einkreport.com. Both are "drudge clones" in a very strong sense. We'll see how the experiment goes!