Maybe it's just me, but the new "highly-active" banner seems kind of jarring:
It feels to me like the most eye-catching thing on the page, positioned as it is above the question text, and yet it's probably irrelevant to me: the average person to arrive on a question just wants to read the content, and doesn't care whether the question is protected or not. I personally find it distracting enough that I'm tempted to unprotect questions just to spare visitors the visual noise.
Why not move the banner down - for instance, below the question...
... or even all the way to the answer box:
(One compromise might be to show it below the question for users who don't have enough rep to answer a protected question - since it's potentially valuable for them to know that immediately if they're only reading the question because they're considering answering it - but to show it above the answer box for the rest of us. But I think either option would be preferable to how it's positioned now.)