Whoops - guess that's a little hard to read.
Guess I should have looked a little more closely at forcing breaks in my posting. I'm not quite /that/ gung-ho for whitespace compression.
I know you put a lot of work into this and I hope you'll take this as constructive criticism instead of distressed flamage. My big complaint with the new main page setup is the wasted space, mostly vertical. It was easy to quickly scroll through the old setup with about four new submissions a page and look for interesting new stuff. The hard coded font sizes, the almost completely wasted new bar on the left side, the large amounts of vertical white space, the new link format, and the lack of real vertical separation (the teeny thin bar really doesn't do the job) all contribute to making that tougher. Is it usable? Yes. Selfishly, is it as suited at doing what I primarily use Freshmeat for, looking daily for new releases? In my opinion, no.
Turning off style sheets and overriding a few things makes it better, but that seems a bit of brutal overkill. I imagine a lot of this is just different browser weirdness and it looks fine on what you're using. But, while I don't want to overangst (end of the net predicted!), the efficient layout of lots of information for fast access is a tougher thing than it seems like it would be, and people who are upset about the fact that their new freshmeat doesn't look as nice to them won't even get to the point of checking out the neat new underlying functionality.
I hauled Netscape out of cold storage and noticed that the new look renders much faster for people who're still stuck with that, which is a good thing.
Suggestions for the main page:
* Kill the fixed fonts sizes. 12 pt?
* Kill all the vertical whitespace at the bottom, such as between the Changes and License and URL lines.
* Full width separator lines
* Move the left bar elsewhere
* Kill the URL selector for hard links, but I see you've already been convinced to do that.
I know it's a pain, I go through this whenever I release something new and public, and I bitch and whine and moan about users never being happy, but I find that if enough people are complaining about something specific that maybe I really do need to revisit that. Good luck.