Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! The interconnects of which you speak, I do believe have been upgraded since you purchased yours. I have owned the latest version, the IC-200 Mk II, and I don't think they are ugly and I think their quality is quite nice.
Ironically I replaced my last LAT IC-200 Mk II with the afore mentioned Cardas GR and the Cardas was a nice improvement. (I replaced the Cardas with an Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference and that was a nice improvement over the Cardas in my system.)
My experience with the LAT cables has been interesting; when I purchased my first one, it outperformed a more expensive JPS SC2, so I felt their claims may be true. But, as you have just read prior, I have replaced the LAT's with cables that do excel.
IMO, they are a good cable at their price, but I wouldn't say they are a giant killer, unless they have a certain synergy in your system where they specifically outperform a more expensive cable, like with my case w/the JPS.
I also own LAT's top speaker cable and I feel these are a quality cable and worth their money. I again had a case where I feel they outperformed more expensive cables; I had JPS SC2 speaker cables as well and preferred the LAT's' and I later compared them to Cardas Golden Cross and though the Cardas had a smoother top end that I liked, the bass was to boomy and I preferred the LAT's overall. I am now using Audio Tekne speaker cables, the LAT's are for sale, and the AT's are better, but they are much more expensive also, as the others I compared.