Webwork - 8:08 pm on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)
Bit of all the above, maybe? Framework + tweaking + add-on scripts?
Pared down, where/when right, to increase user value?
No one size fits all, but I think Google scored user points for simplicity or "elegance" of design and user experience. "Less is more", sometimes, but not always.
Sorry, but I'm not selling a formula. Every site, to my experience, IS "an experiment". Thoses who've been there, know that, and you (ken_b) I believe have been there and/or are there. ;)