Since you asked...
I hate the trend to minimalism in general. I don't like how it looks, I don't like it in use.
I don't like usability sacrificed to minimalism. But I do want as much minimized as possible. I like sleek, unfussy, uncomplicated looking gear for the most part.
(Especially stuff I have to interact with - DACs, Preamps etc).
Here are my ten demands. Manufacturers, please take careful notes. I will not stay on the line long enough for you to trace the call.
1) I want meters. Analogue or digital it's all the same to me. And no cheating by using an LED screen with cartoon meters.
I've never felt the need for a meter on any audio equipment I've owned. Don't even know why I'd want or need one.
2) I want a switch or a button for everything. Even things I'm never going to use. No screens, no menus. The switches and buttons should look and feel like they were designed to last a thousand years, and they should light up when you press them - or have little LEDs embedded in them that light up. Sony could do that decades ago, so catch up.
I agree generally speaking a switch is better than a screen. However some devices are complicated enough that it would mean too many switches/buttons for my taste, and a multi-function touch screen can make it nicer looking and more usable. I think my Benchmark LA4 does a pretty decent job with a touchscreen. It makes for instance the input selections more customizable which in itself helps some ergonomics.
3) The volume control shall be a large, rotary, stepped attenuator with dB marking. Turning it should feel like you are turning the combination dial on the master safe in a Geneva bank.
I prefer a knob that turns in a silky smooth fashion, not too clicky.
Gawd no! Nothing turns me off more in consumer equipment than attempts to make it look like pro equipment. Pro equipment for me is generally unsightly.
5) I want rack-mount ears
See above. Yeeeeuuuuck!
Give me a nice, sleek, contemporary look, please. It'll sit in my rack just fine without being bolted in.
6) I want insane build quality. Military grade. If I tell someone I got it out of the command bunker at a nuclear missile silo they should not express any surprise.
Thumbs up for great build quality. But not "military/pro-looking." Nothing that looks like it might fit in well with a submarine.
7) No blue LEDS. They look tacky and dazzle in low lighting conditions. The correct LED colours are - red or orange for power, green and yellow for other functions. This is basic stuff.
No particular taste there, with one exception: No red. Generally red has a psychological association with "danger cues" and frankly I find a constant red light to be a bit unnerving. I prefer more calming colors.
8) Try to put the AC power socket as far away from the signal cable sockets as possible. Not right next to them. There's an easy one for you to get you started.
9) No two-tone colour schemes. Hi-fi colours are black, silver or champagne. No flowery font and especially no slogans on the fascia. Just label every function clearly and cleanly. The manufacturer name can be displayed but only at either top right, top left or bottom centre - and in a way that looks like you don't have to try.
If I have any vow it's to never buy another bloody black component again! First...that color is boring as hell, makes all the equipment tend to look undistinguished, sometimes indistinguishable, and it makes it harder for these aging eyes to use. Tiny black buttons and black knobs on a black faceplate? Ugh!
(It's the only thing I'm a bit unhappy about with my Benchmark preamp). I'm fine with a two-tone approach or mixing materials. For instance I don't mind the "pop" that comes with a classy brass volume knob or controls on a dark faceplate.
10) No sappy names. Alpha numeric designations only. This is a man's game now.
Ugh. While I'm not looking for overly goofy or pretentious names for equipment, the only thing worse is "equipment-turned-in-to-math." That is just using faceless sets of letters or numbers. "Wait...WTF is a 10.4C...again?"
Some agreement, but major divergence.