It's also much more politically, er, technically correct ;). Stylesheets instead of stacked tables, and so on.
I did find it interesting and admittedly a bit odd that Google outsourced the design work to an outside firm. Surely Google must have enough design smarts in-house? I wonder if it was more of a PR move than anything else.
There seem to be a lot of nice features within tags (especially the conditional ones), and it seems possible to use the name of the article as the archive link instead of a date stamp - I just haven't figured it out yet.
If anyone does, can they please sticky me the code for it?