And honestly, it took me a really, really long time before I got the hang of UI improvement addons. Much like the sudden discovery that vent was a thing which existed, any UI mods beyond CTRaid were mysteries to me until that first bout of hardcore raiding was done and over with and Burning Crusade was on the horizon. I don't really know, when I look back on these old screenshots people have of vanilla raids, how we pulled it off. I'm not sure how I spent so long without some semblance of a clean UI.
I'm curious though. Obviously I was new back then, I didn't know just how nice addons could be. Are there any people out there that still use the default UI? Are you just comfortable with how it's set up? Have you figured out how to make it best work for you? Have you tried using any addons before, or do you just like the idea of playing without them?