How is this site conceived? Math Overflow is a pretty valuable tool for research mathematicians. There is a parallel site for undergraduate-level math. If Physics Overflow/Area 51/Physics is to be about research-level physics, perhaps the design should convey this.
The design is the same for all site in the beta phase, Jin will give each site a unique design in time.
The sketchyness of the site is because the site is in beta and a design hasn't been discussed, let alone decided.
This is usually done after about 90-100 days of public beta, currently we are in private beta, and there are 5 days left of private beta.
EDIT: Also this site [hopefully] won't be completely research-level.