I like the new design very much. The only thing I don't like is a majority of the comments are collapsed. One of the best parts about /. is reading all of the intelligent and witty comments. The real value in this site is the intellectual level of it's patrons, seriously. I like reading what everyone thinks about DOCSIS, network administration, etc... This site isn't for everyday people, it's for geeks, and as such I want to see things from a variety of viewpoints. The new design takes up too much of my time to really enjoy others opinions. Because of whatever changes were made (I could find out but don't care to) the site is actually much slower loading for me.
To summarize: It's slower and harder to use but looks better. Sacrificing content and performance for aesthetics... doesn't take a genius to see how this will affect the daily visitors.