Simplicity said:FreeCiv is useless.
Horrible graphics? Check.
Worse than the original game graphics? Check.
Horrible interface? Check. Ooooh let's play File Menu: The Game.
Civ3 w/ expansion packs is superior to Civ2 and way superior to FreeCiv.
You clearly place much greater importance on graphics than I do. I will take better gameplay with worse graphics anytime, and in my opinion FreeCiv has superior gameplay. However, I disagree that the graphics are worse than Civ I. (Civ I was 16 colors, after all.) I own both Civ I and II, and I'll go so far as to say the graphics are no worse than Civ II. There are multiple graphics sets to choose from as well. A while back, someone made one where the world looks like Tolkien's maps, for example. There are also some 3d sets in the works.
As for the interface, it's in a window, so yes, it looks like normal windows. I don't see how that's a problem, but perhaps the version using GTK is more to your liking?
In any case, I feel the gameplay and configurability outweigh these concerns.
(Sorry for the hijack.)