I fiddled with Firebug on the Beta site, and made a few changes that amazingly improves the look'n'feel of it:
- Remove article images.
- Remove the CSS line-height property from both submission and comments.
- Distinguish where submitter intro ends and submission begins. "Quotes" are not enough - the old blockquote worked nicely.
- Make the submission text color black. It feels hazy as it is now.
- Let comments flow full-width. Having them constrained by the huge sidebar is awful.
In general, it seems like you're turning Slashdot from a community driven site to a more modern publisher/aggregator style site, which won't work. If the comments aren't the primary focus, Slashdot loses what makes it Slashdot.
I can get up to date news everywhere - I can't get quality commentary anywhere but Slashdot.