As has been stated repeatedly before, elsewhere, I wish I had mod points right now.
With that in mind, the first two statements pretty much sum it up. "Because I want to change it" is not a good reason, nor really is a designer saying "I don't like how it looks" if, while ugly, it's intuitive for the user to figure out.
I think I've taken all of half a dozen looks at the beta site, and without fail, my response is "get me the f*** out of here", not because it's unfamiliar (though it is), but because what I see is a jumbled mess that makes following LKML in message-received order when there are multiple heated discussions going on in parallel an easy task.
With that said, I don't consider JS to be the harbinger of death and otherwise all that is evil. Some designers & developers have never heard of progressive enhancement though, causing problems left and right. There are things that can be added to the current UI without completely breaking it that make things more convenient ("Load more comments" is actually one I use regularly, because I'm also aware of how broken the pagination of comments happens to be - but then again, threaded commenting doesn't lend itself to pagination without complete disposal of context. I'd rather read the comment threads and if that means a bit of script, so be it.)