5e art does little for me. Much of the monster art deviates from prior editions too much for my tastes. Some of it I like better than 4e, much of it I don't. 3.o and early 3.5 was the worst though for my tastes.
Overall, I just don't gel with anything WOTC feels the game should look like. Whether that was 1998 or 2015. I would prefer no art, frankly.
I can see what you mean, I loved the vibe of the playtest packets, no art, just gritty text.