First impression: (almost everyone around me) - "wow, it's green!"
Second impression: I never realised before that it was possible to summarise all search options under the four headings "using this page", "football gossip", "giant reptiles" and "hello and welcome". The world would be a better and sillier place if these remained the four main categories of general interest, every day and forever.
After a few minutes: It's a lovely interface and a very clean design. It's very, very easy to customise. (I am, needless to say, talking about the new BBC homepage.)
Having what looks like a Netvibes/Pageflakes-esque customisable startpage but with content from only one source keeps catching me out. The TV guide to only the BBC's own programmes is particularly odd. The "blogs about the new homepage" link means only BBC blogs about the new homepage; don't get me wrong, BBC staff write some of my favourite blogs but they aren't the only bloggers talking about the new site. Is this a lovely modern interface crippled by an obsolete content strategy? In many ways, yes - from a content point of view it's clearly a retrograde step from the various multi-source news aggregators and start pages on which the look and feel is based.
The "on this day in history" snippets are great ("Roman emperor Theodosius declares the orthodoxy of the Nicene Creed" is the perfect balance of the trivial and the intellectual to make this history geek very happy) but they don't click anywhere, which is weird: where do they come from? (The most likely source seems Wikipedia, in which case why not a hat tip and a link to find out more?)
The wobble on the sweep hand of the analogue clock - go and see - is very nice. Smacks of a Google twenty percent project, but nice.
And...it doesn't have to be green. Mine is going to be purple. Or maybe black. But green was good too.