I got an ESX a bit ago (only have about 300 miles in on it) and have gotten a lot of attention at the local coffee shops and on the road with it so want to comment a bit on the ESX/Altum looks argument.
The bike definitely looks better in person than in pictures. The bike I have been using for the past few years is a steel bike, so my eye is definitely used to a more classic look. When I went to LBSs for test rides on the ESX and (a couple other bikes I was actually more interested in) it didn't take long for me to be happy with the ESX's look. Of course, the way it rode didn't hurt either. I was mostly test riding the ESX in the interest of completeness, but it (and Parlee's helpfulness every time I called them) won me over...including in the looks department. I'll agree though, I'd have never gone for it if I hadn't had a chance to see it in the flesh/carbon.
Out on rides I get a lot of positive feedback on the look of the bike...lots of "wow, that's a beautiful bike" and "uh, where's your rear brake?" So far not a single negative comment on aesthetics...other than my disappointment at how easily the fork's paint gets damaged if you let the handlebars turn all the way.
There are a ton of comments online about how ugly it is...and I was in that camp too, but I came around pretty quickly and I'm very happy to look over next to my desk here and see it sitting there begging for a ride. I now think it's a pretty bike...but then again, I probably would, since I bought it (and designed the paint)...but I seem to get a lot of agreement from other people, so hopefully I'm not just guilty of rose-colored glasses.