There has long been a cult of purists among 1911 buffs who deride various modifications, mostly beavertail grip safeties, because they "look ugly". This is something I've never understood; sure, the beavertail looks a little goofy, like someone thought the gun needed a spoiler on the trunk lid or something, but it's not there for looks. It's there to locate your hand properly when you take a firm grip high on the gun, and especially if you shoot with your thumb on top of the thumb safety. The Commander-style hammer is also not just there for looks, since it goes hand-in-glove with the beavertail; a GI spur hammer would bottom out against the enlarged grip safety and prevent the gun from cycling.
are people out there who want a beavertail for the looks (after all, there are people out there who bought Pontiac Azteks and who like the designated hitter rule,) but I just like what it does.
Lately, however, the Crusty Purist Cult has spread from the Church of the 1911 and infected the world of AR-15 owners, too. It was one thing to want an old "no-fence, no-forward-assist" Colt SP1 to collect for its retro 1970's SWAT cool, but soon the purists were demanding the old triangular handguards because the new ones were "ugly", as though someone was actually concerned with what the AR-15, not a particularly attractive rifle to begin with, looked like. Look, buddy, if you want flimsy, rattling, gotta-be-kept-in-matched-pairs A1 handguards on your rifle, be my guest. The A2's are infinitely better: sturdier, quieter, and it doesn't matter which goes on top or bottom since they're both the same. And as far as a railed forend goes, you don't buy those for looks; you buy them... well, let me quote Lyle, posting at Oleg's blog: