I hate the new Slate redesign. It's all 90-degree angless and dignified, spare sans-serif fonts. It's the kind of design you'd expect from the New York Times, if the New York Times wasn't obsessed with its front page looking like the actual newspaper. It's no-nonsense in a way that contrarian, snarky Slate manifestly isn't.
And, actually, looking at it right now, the biggest problem isn't the parts they designed: it's the parts they didn't. All of the advertisements look absolutely jarring. If you're going to make a radical design statement, make sure that you have absolute control over absolutely everything, because -- if you have to make holes in your avant-garde web design to accomodate standard-width sidebars -- it's going to look truly awful. Which it does.