I can't quote you CGI, something really odd happens when I try. But for the record, I do prefer the dark one. I find it much easier to read.
I'm going to guess it's because CGI used embedded images in his post - and because of the size of the image(s) it takes the editor a good bit longer to load...
TalonMan should update the Shortcuts function and make the word "Shortcuts" automatically appear in red when a moderator or admin has submitted a red shortcut. As it is, I don't think people will bother to open the drop-down menu for shortcuts every time they visit a thread to check if maybe a moderator note has been put somewhere at some point. Turning the word "Shortcuts" red would signal that there is a moderator note among the shortcuts, so it would become much more likely that people take the time to open the drop-down menu and read the post in question. Especially the heated threads where a thread warning is necessary move faster than the average thread and therefore a moderator note can quickly get lost
If you hit the drop-down, any mod shortcuts are in red (as opposed to the regular shortcuts) - I understand what you're suggesting though, and it does make sense.