Oh yeah, aesthetics absolutely matter to me. I love mountain bikes as much as I love mountain biking. I was swayed a long time ago by Grant Petersen’s sentiments, such as quotes like, “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.” But he also convinced me that suspension stems such as the Allsop were a better solution than suspension forks, so… yeah, not exactly rational.
That said, contacts points are crucial. I run and love the less-ugly SQlab 711 but still get some hand numbness on longer climbs. I am trying to steel myself to get a 16 degree sweep bar, but am still running my fashionable RF Next ‘cause it is light and cost a bunch of money.