That I agree 100% with. I too believe that. Hell, I find myself liking simple layouts more than what's the usual startup trend for pretty backgrounds (and background videos; whoever does that deserves to have their Internet access limited to crappy 3G modem with fixed rate of $0.1/MB) and fluff.
Personally, I think HN is actually too simple. Reddit seems uglier, but they have lots of very small features that greatly support discussion on the site. I actually think that the interface for general discussion on-line lies somewhere between HN and Reddit - simple but useful tree-like forum.
Also, the orange bar is basically the single visual element that makes HN HN, so I don't know why people would even like to customize it...
There's some mystery here.