One of the biggest complaints that we got for 2 years of the old design was that people wanted to just read the good stuff without all the fluff. We provided that with this design.
The whole point of using 3 columns is that we have a lot of very different types of posts. Before everything just got jumbled together, whereas in the new design, the feature articles are on the left, the geek trivia, news, and links are in the middle, and the fun facts / geek glossary / (upcoming new stuff) are on the right.
Trying to arrange everything into a blog view just didn't work, and it wasn't working. When we ran a wallpaper post there's no need for words, so we ended up with a thumbnail and a bunch of dead white space that looked tacky. I was just unable to even include other things because of the format.
Comparing our layout change to Gawker / Lifehacker is rather silly, I mean, everything on HTG is still on a single page ordered by date. There's just more stuff. It's nothing like their original weird scrolling design. Instead of giant category pages with a list of 2000 links, you can quickly jump to the latest articles for Mobile, Windows, etc. And for those that don't have adblock installed, the site loads much better than it used to, with more content available above the fold, and it loads much faster.
Every time we change anything, we get hate mail, and a lot of it. And then eventually everybody calms down.
That said, I meant to include a blog view for those people that are scared of change, but I didn't get the code worked out in time, and I've been busy since.