Just went back and played GC2 after a long hiatus. Man, is it ugly compared to 3. In fact, I found I could barely go back to it. Everything looks so coarse. Even the UI is not so good and it's harder to physically see/find the info you want. The tech tree is ugly. Even the fonts are harder to read. And there are annoyances like the constant snapping-back to your colony (maybe you can change that though I don't know).
So many strides have been made in the new design, e.g. idle colony and shipyard messages (these weren't reported in 2).
But there are some things from 2 I would like to see implemented in 3, such as the Quarterly Report and the Galactic News. They were really interesting and immersive (and useful).
Just think how good and polished 3 is going to be in a year's time after an expansion or two has come out!