Godawful appearance is pretty easy to fix in resource maps, actually. They're naturally seeded so you can use world edit to refresh chunks selectively to their original appearance. Can't do it with the main map since it's an engineered one.
People still shouldn't build ugly-ass narrow pillars or leave tree top hanging in the air.
But yeah, the last few Sorrows have had horribly scarred spawn zones. But I believe that this is more so due to un-enforced rules and a very small no-perms zone.
The Sorrows used to be set up quite nicely by Sally. There was a zone where players could not edit the land or /home from all around spawn. So players would have to run a little ways before they could /home (/home also used to be instant, with no warm up. This was changed to prevent players from having a get-out-of-jail-free card from any situation in the Sorrows). But the beautiful thing was that before they could get outside of the no-/home and no-edit zone, the PvP area began. This insured that, if a player was in the zone where they could /home and they are spotted by a PvPer, they had to run for their life. They couldn't just take one step back and be safe.
The Sorrows was a blast back then. It actually got my heart pounding more than any other videogame ever did. EVER. Now most people don't even know about the joys the Sorrows used to hold.
Edit: I would be in support of players not being able to place /home location in the Sorrows. That would help to bring PvP back. But I don't think anybody really cares about that, they just want rewards with no risk.