Good observations, all of them...
Lovely homes at the end. Typical houses at the beginning.
In my business, we work with builders primarily. The buyers that are sent to us are buying homes built by McMansion Builders. Here in Utah, they are turning out these ostentatious, spackle-clad homes with no sense of scale whatsoever. People go to a 100-200 home subdivision and have a choice of four different plans, plus mirro reversals, and think it is the SHIZNIT.
Sad, really... it's "building to the lowest common denominator." Too bad. If I were in the market to be thinking about the biggest investment of my life, I'd be learning about architecture, style, and weight. There - off my soap box now.
If you want to learn about 21st century modernism, look at this:
These guys have it going on. Beautiful form following function perfectly, from the architecture all the way through the interior design.
Obviously, not everyone can afford this kind of architecture. But there are other ways to get a little personality and uniqueness. I'll post some more affordable unique architecure options here shortly.