I can't say I disagree, though I do kind of like the little handle on maple syrup jars.
This seems to be the case in just about every field. People who aren't very familiar with classical music hear about musical forms and highly restrictive techniques like fugue and think "Oh, classical music must be so stuffy and formulaic" or a common geek response I've heard: "Wow, Bach's music is made up of algorithms!" (cringe).
But in reality those restrictions are where creativity is born, why composers are still writing fugues. Remove all restrictions from the process of composition (including self-imposed restrictions) and you have noise!
Another example I wanted to share: in the documentary "The Five Obstructions" (an epic film about the creative process) Lars von Trier tasks the Jørgen Leth to re-create his short film "The Perfect Human" in five different ways, with five different sets of rules and restrictions.
The one that Leth is most thrown off by at first is the task to re-make the film without any instructions from Lars. It's an awesome movie.
Another downside would be decision paralysis. Arbitrary restrictions allow you to narrow the scope. This was the first piece of advice in a book on how to compose I recall browsing through.
Or look at the careers of famous typographers, like Spiekermann or Tobias Frere-Jones or...
It may be "stagnant" as in "nobody's invented a new letter like doublequeue", but there's plenty of innovation within the established forms. Look at HFJ Archer, a slab serif, bound by conventions established almost two centuries ago for 19th-century poster printing, that is something fresh and new in 2007.
Compare Didot to Garamond.
Same thing happens with Sans Serif fonts. You might argue that all sans-serif italics are just flourishes, since sans faces can be obliqued instead of designing cursive-style slanted type.
Compare Gill Sans Italic to Akzidenz.
What am I supposed to see? I'm afraid I'm having trouble seeing the conclusion you're getting at.
From the samples on Wikipedia, the most apparent difference is that parts of the capital "A", like the feet and the left leg, are thinner and look more "deliberate". Other than that, the two fonts look very similar.
Look at the dramatically contrasting weights between vertical and horizontal strokes in Didot. They bear deliberately little resemblance to how a human calligrapher would produce letters.
Notice that the stroke axis in Garamond isn't 90 degrees; the "pen" that produced it isn't a a machine working an orthogonal path. There are far more calligraphic serifs than Garamond, you can see it. Look at the lowercase 'e'.
Look at how Garamond's strokes flow into the serifs, and how abrupt Didot's are. Check out the lowercase 'p' on Didot. 90 degrees.
Look at the terminals; Didot's are either sharp enough to cut glass, or mechanically precise teardrops. Again, Garamond strokes end the way a calligraphy stroke would.
For a good peek into the modernist mindset, I recommend Towards a New Architecture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toward_an_Architecture) by Le Corbusier.
As a contrast, I recommend the post-modernist view in Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture by Robert Venturi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Venturi).
These days I have NO IDEA where architecture is now that we are post-post-post-modern.
Unfortunately, many people read Ayn Rand way too literally.
Roark lumps classicalism/skeuomorphs in with design by committee and the collectivist modernism  as forms of collectivism: design not based on your vision, but based on the vision of others. That's just objectivism applied to architecture. Why do you feel I shouldn't take this as her literal opinion?
 Later in the book, the mainstream architects embrace a collectivist version of modernism.
That said, it wasn't classical architecture OR modernism that Roark had a problem with, IIRC. It was the production of mongerel, impure architecture where everyone threw in something they copied from somewhere, without using their independent judgement and without considering the overall theme/meaning of the building.
BTW, there is no application of Objectivism to architure (at least not directly), and there is no "Objectivist architecture." Just like there is no "Existential architecure" and no "Marxist architecture". (Though there was architecture in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany inspired by statism, and there could be architecture inspired by Objectivism, that doesn't mean Marxism or Objectivism have an official, philosophical position on architecture.)
I do not think this is true. Artistic and aesthetic judgments, in Objectivism, have philosophical meaning. Rand applied Objectivism to her novels in the same way Rand's characters would (explicitly or implicitly) apply Objectivism to their music or architecture or work.
To give an example (one Rand herself would likely be displeased with, but she is more than capable of being wrong about the consequences of her own philosophy), prog rock has a better philosophical foundation than punk rock. While punk rock is nihilistic and denies talent and beauty, prog rock exaults human talent. Punk rock is predicated on the idea that any idiot can thrash on a poorly-tuned guitar and make "music", and hence worships mediocrity; prog rock is predicated on taking rock seriously as a means of artistic expression and in pushing both form and effect to all conceivable limits, using the fullest of the musician's ability and creativity to do so. (If this reasoning is unconvincing to you, you're probably not much of an Objectivist. Or a prog rock snob, for that matter.)
And just like that you throw away The Ramones?
Hence, my "(at least not directly)".
It's also interesting when metaphors don't change, failing to keep up with reality, e.g. the floppy disk being used a save metaphor, when floppy disks have not been prevalent for years.
Perhaps more interesting, I wonder how that value changes over time in cultures. Is it ever a significant drag on older cultures after a while? Does it have secondary effects. Like if you are surrounded by skeuomorphs all the time, does it hamper some learning because the designs of most things aren't really making sense.
It seems obvious to me that these things are a drag on culture. But because it seems obvious, I wonder how much I’m missing – maybe I’m just taking too narrow a view of what’s a drag v. what looks like a drag but is actually adaptive.
But even so, some dynamics might be discernible in the mess. Such as... consider the set of skeuomorphs defended by the claim to function that they aid by minimizing some switching cost. That defense has something akin to a half-life, when there exists some set of transition steps that takes the design of the skeuomorph, imperceptibly at each step, toward some more efficient design. So indefinitely using the "minimizing switching costs" rationale as giving "function" wouldn't hold up in such cases. Then it seems reasonable to say that any costs which arise from not having moved such skeuomorphs along that path of imperceptible transitions in a timely fashion would be a indefensible waste if that was the skeuomorph's only claim to functionality.
Right now, number 40 under New. Should be voted up, I think.