I wanted to raise the issue for a while now, so the time has come I guess.
NOTE: I am not a host, so what I say here comes from a consumer's point of view.
I'm quite sure we all had to deal with some companies previously, with which we have experienced a truly outstanding service/support. I'll make it more easy - I'm sure there are hundreds of members here, representing companies that are honest and live up to the best industry standards....
The problem is - some of the web sites of those truly excellent companies are plain terrible (ugly in other words). (remember, this is a customer talking, so don't shoot me just yet)
When I was a total newbie while back in my life, I was in search for a web hosting company and WEB DESIGN/PRESENCE played significant role in choosing the one. So every time I visited an ugly and cheap site - I was just as fast clicking the "back" button on my browser. And even though it may have been the service I've been looking for - philosophy behind it was easy - if you are so great and people love the service, is it that hard to build an attractive decent web site?
Because I think packaging (the way you present your company) is crucial, especially for beginners. That means you really do have finances to keep your business presence in good condition and it is appreciated.
This issue, by the way, still exists for me personally (I don't know if there are some people who would agree with me), and there are still some good trusted and old companies (in business for , say, 4-5 years) out there that still have same old ugly web sites I don't want to deal with. Because once I see such as a site - my trust to those companies behind them goes down pretty damn quick.
So what do you think about all that?