I'm all for:
* realistic weapons; i.e. no spikes, hooks, and protrusions. Realistic size and *weight* (I'm looking at YOU, hammer group). Dark Sun gets a free pass on that.
* realistic armour; i.e. no spikes, hooks, and *ahem* protrusions. Less of the ragged piecemeal look designed to show off muscles & bare flesh. How about armour that looks like it might actually stop an attack?
The artists they used for AD&D were, by my way of thinking, head and shoulders above the new batch of artists. Not that the new ones are necessarily awful, just that their style is not terribly iconic to D&D. I get why they get used. WotC wants to attract new, young buyers, fine. They can't (or won't) afford to pay the old veterans, fine.
The articles that came out pre-4e talking about the world, the monsters, etc, gave me high hopes that we'd see some nice city/landscapes, scary monsters, etc. What a letdown. Not as bad as the 3.x books, but still not great.
But it's all subjective anyway, right? So whatever. I know what D&D looks like to me, I know what my campaign world looks like, and no amount of crappy artwork in new books can take that away.