Firstly, I think the Stack Exchange site was in need of an update, and the update is all around great.
There are just 2 things I find are worse.
In this image everything in the red box (i.e. the first visible section) is useless to a logged in user, though probably more useful to new users. So couldn't it be hidden for logged in users? Instead, the hot question are much more interesting.
The other thing is minor, but it does reduce readablity. When viewing the Hot Questions page, the title text is very light coloured, especially compared to the description text. I know the text color is the same around the whole site, but the readability is most noticeable on hot questions where the black description is more obvious than the title.
Also, why was the rating removed from the left of the hot questions?