i guess, to give the short answer, the site was redone to make it *make sense* to new people. there had always been a playfulness (or confusion!) to sito, which is fine for most, say, gridcosm fanatics. but most pages were not designed as part of a site that was logical to jump around. we are trying to fix that now, to make it a little easier for new visitors. and this will take time.
as for the homepage design, thanks for appreciating the simplicity (as that was the goal), but we felt it really failed to illustrate the activity that makes sito *alive*. if the home page is getting 10 times the hits of any other page, we wanted it to *show off* what was going on -- so that a first-time visitor hits there and says "hello? what is this?" and explores; rather than leaping to the text-heavy page linked from somewhere else and just being a little bored by it.
thanks for the comments. we will try to get the other pages in line with our new design ideas so it all kinda fits together.