Re: "the system has a more modern and 'flatter' look"
Yup, Microsoft has had to go flat to lower CPU and GPU loads to help with battery life. If you don't recall, Microsoft Windows on portables has always been a big battery hog compared to all other OS's. So with Microsoft going "flat" that seems to be what some people think is "modern".
Linux distros should always stand up and stand out for what's better. Following Microsoft is never a good thing.