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Having a centralized theme for the whole desktop may be conveniet but it is less flexible. What if i like everything about the default look except the window decoration? I will have to change the entire theme - not only the window decoration but the panel theme and icon theme as well.
The current way is more flexible because it allows me to combine one desktop theme with window decorations and icons from another theme.
Also i don't understant what's so wrong with the look and feel of KDE. In my opinion the oxygen icon theme is a lot better than Windows 7's icon theme and is on par with OS X icon theme. As for the windows decorations i definately like KDE's oxygen theme more that Windows and again i find it on par with OS X's. Generaly i find that the OS X and KDE's themes are similar because of the wide spread use of grey gradients. I like the panel theme very much but my only problem with it is that due to the transparency the taskbar text is not very readable on some desktop backgrounds and i have to choose my desktop background more carefully. They need to work on that. As for the fonts - they always looked OK for me on Debian, OpenSuSe and Arch with no additional settings. And i've found that the fonts on Ubuntu are even better. I don't know what distro are they using in KDE to make the screenshots but indeed they don't look very good. However i don't think this is a problem for most users since the most popular distros seem to have fixed this issue.
BTW the fact that most of the complaints are about the default look and feel kind of brings me optimism. At least to me it means that they have ironed out most of the serious problems and they only need to polish their desktop environment.