From Electronic Life:
The earliest designs of any new object reflect older images. The first Pulsar digital watches looked like TV sets; the first home computers looked like typewriters mating with TV sets.
External computer design is still dominated by engineers, and there are a lot of ugly clunkers around. But there's no excuse for making a machine that looks like a toilet on the space shuttle - and less for buying one. I'm constantly surprised that people who wouldn't put an ugly stereo on a side shelf will place one of those junky boxes right in the center of their desk, as if they had no choice.
Apple, Atari, IBM, DEC, Epson, Xerox and Olivetti make pleasant-looking computers, although they're all basically white or gray (I don't know why computers don't come in colors; eventually they will.)
Good design is not an aesthetic frill; it matters. A pleasing appearance means somebody cared how it looks to you; it's a strong hint that the inner workings have been arranged with the user in main, too.