Thankfully, there is a way to turn off dark mode, in the upper right corner.
Some of us who have visual impairment and need high-contrast to read things without getting super-stressed within a half second of viewing. While it's true that the initial look was overly-bright, I can handle that better any day than what happens to my eyes when there's an ultra-dark theme in place. It throws me back to the early 80's, before we were finally able to start implementing black-on-white for greater clarity on the old white-on-black-only "dumb terminals" that came before desktop computers were around yet.
At any rate, having found the on/off switch for dark-vs.-light mode, I am pretty sure the new "light mode" is also superior to the initial look of the new layout, but I don't have screenshots to prove it.
Been loving the dark theme too, but the new ffaded backgrounds looks like a pair of blue jeans on my screen. All are very artifacted. 5k iMac. Just a heads up.
First: I like the new layout!
But: It would be nice if the thread title (and also the breadcrumbs and pagination) is sticky. I have several tabs opened all the time and quickly lose track. Just my 2 cents.