I had forgotten how unorganized and unstandardized LiveJournal's example S2 code is. I've gotten so used to Smarty that the way they do it is entirely unnatural to me. Because of Smarty I've gotten used to writing a system for doing things and then writing a way to show the end user what was done, without one having to know how the other does its thing short of a easy "Here's your data, have fun" interface. Now merge those two into one thing (think PHP, pre-template system), and then try rearranging, adding, or taking something out of that. It becomes chaotic very quickly and very easily.
Of course, that's kind of understandable if you remember that the people who designed this system are the same ones who code the site in Perl. One joke I find rather amusing is that encrypted Perl code looks exactly like the original.
Basically what I'm saying is that their version of "easier to customize" is... not so much. I'm very tempted to somehow make an abstraction layer or something to that affect. What I really want to do is use the Smarty system to make the styles in. *ponders this*