wheel - 12:06 am on Sep 27, 2011 (gmt 0)
all we see is sites with zero design features and style ( as in pre 2000
That IS a design. I've got a site, custom designed in 2011. It looks like any other site designed in 2003 :).
Presentation may matter, but if Google's looking at content, I'd guess that it only matters as much as the presentation/design eclipsed the content. Design for the sake of design is a detraction, not a benefit.
Once content doesn't matter in a supposedly update against 'thin and shallow content' or content farms what else can you say?
I'd say that 'we' haven't figured out what signals Google is using to wham out Panda.