I hope this doesn't turn into another Golden Ticket argument.
In my opinion the design isn't ugly, but it's a little hard to browse. When I first came to visit I had to click on several links to find what I was looking for because I couldn't understand all of the links. Then again, it could be just because I'm slow.
One thing I don't like is the feature in which you have to move your cursor above the buttons to see what's behind them. I'd much rather see all the links at once instead of blindly looking for the one I want. I know that happens when you click one of them, but I'd rather have it on the front page like that.
Another thing I'm used to and like on other sites is that the main links are all available at all times. In the current design we get the ones that are hidden behind the buttons, but such things as the gift shop can only be accessed through the front page (as far as I know -- correct me if I'm wrong).
Now, while the design is a lot better than what I originally expected (the beta/news section didn't really impress me), it does look amateurish compared to some sites that revolve around other LA games. Then again, it's also different from them which makes it stand out.
In conclusion, I wouldn't object if there was another design, but this one doesn't make me want to throw up either.
You talk about taking your emotions away from your work, but you seem to be very emotional about it. Sorry if you take any offence but i think you're being very negative for no reason.
I think what Thomas is trying to say is that the creator of any work must be able to see past the time and effort they've put into something and view the result with open eyes. For example, a few days ago I received a review for a story I'd written. The reviewer told me that my sentence structure was a little off. The things I had written were grammatically correct, so for a split second I thought "How dare she criticise me when there is no mistake?!" but when I read the parts that had been pointed out I realised that they indeed needed work.
Besides, even harsh criticism should be acknowledged. You don't have to follow it if you disagree, but you should be glad about the fact that someone spent their time giving you tips and analyzing your work. Spit at these people and they won't bother next time. I once told a writer that script format was against the TOS of the site he was posting at, and he replied that he can do whatever he wants and that I have no right to tell him what to do. Just guess whether I read anything by him again.