I'm sure they are designed very well but they are still ugly, period.
I wouldn't go as far as calling the 02'+ headlights ugly but I do prefer the popup headlights more. IMO the 02'+ headlights make the car look "softer" and it just seems like a forced design for the sake of updating.
as i have a Formula Red, i kinda like the look:
i would love to see black headlights on a red car (real photo, not photoshop)
but i still think that matt black would look better .... any gloss color under the lens looks too shinny