I never said anything about coming here for great web design, just about not thinking geocities is still alive.
And I am no web designer, but AFAIK you can do a lot of nice stuff with just CSS (even rounded corners etc.). A lot of small changes done by a professional would certainly add up. And it would still be backwards compatible and no-frills.
Just read a few comments on the link above to look beyond your little bubble.
I don't think a more professional look would be bad for LWN. Quite the opposite.