I've heard that Perl is ugly because of all those pesky '$'. Purely esthetically this might be true, depending on the font used, but I have the impression that people use the word 'ugly' in a more metaphorical way, like 'ugly subroutine'. Somehow they believe that using an otherwise unused character for marking variables is inelegant - but I think they are confused, I think their opposition arises from the kneejerk reaction to an unfamiliar character. For me the '$' signs make parsing and understanding Perl code easier.
I've heard that TT2 code is ugly because it uses '[%' instead of the more familiar '<', and that it 'FOR' is a heavy burden for the eyes of the programmer because it is "shouting" at him, but I think that the features that make TT2 code standout in the text being templated make it easier to parse and understand and they help my eyes in their work.
Beside that purely ergonomical argument I don't see any purpose of the mini language and I think I am not that thrilled by the future direction of TT.