So it appears to be the case that all I had to do to get rid of the NewBadUgliness of the updated comment UI was go into my journal settings (under "customize selected style") and change "Disable customized comment pages for your journal" to "No".
Look down below: Non-fugly comments! Alphabetized dropdown for icon selection! Subject lines!
I dunno if this will work for everyone (I have a paid account and have tweaked my journal style hardly at all), but it was an easy fix for me.