Agree that they're not the most aesthetically pleasing - no doubt nice aero brake levers with drilled levers and narrow hoods look better, but can't fault STI's for functionality and safety, and I never grew up riding bar end or downtube shifters, so I don't know what I'm missing!Nice looking frame you’ve got there. What are your plans?
edit. Went straight to pics. I like pictures. Retro mod is best of both worlds in my opinion. I do like bar end shifters for functionality and aesthetics as the Sti is very ugly however you look at it.