I get the feeling there are some very inconsistant rendering results.
The first time i logged on all i saw was adverts, there maybe the same number but they where much more in your face and apeared larger, it really did look terrible which might explain some of the comments you've had
I then reset my IE9 settings an i now cant comment on any portal posts, just doesnt let me type any more screen is there, all the buttons etc but it wont physically let me type, very odd. but on the plus side the adverts seem to have shrunk a bit. However there are some large gaps, namely below the widget that also doesnt work
There are 5 adverts on the portal, and although they appear larger and more in your face its not as bad as it was the first time i loaded the website and before i reset my browser, which to be fair, i shouldnt need to do. However when you click on the comments button for the article it brings up the list of comments and comments box (which i cant use) but also a couple of adverts right next to each other, that looks terrible, ill see if i can get a pic
oh, you might want to change the first article in the portal, the one with the pic of the new portal, your looking at the new portal, so you see what the pic is showing, except its like picture in picture, which might be a reason some folk think it looks messy, sounds silly, but youd be surprised how our minds work
oh an finally, will the new buttons frame be consistant through XDA, looks better if the buttons stay the same on all pages.