Well this post is going to sound like I'm taking this really seriously but I'm not... I just feel like really giving my thoughts on this for once instead of just writing "man, that's an ugly plane" for the hundredth time....
Beauty is not strictly in the eye of the beholder. Studies have been done that show there are common traits that a majority of people see as "beauty" - otherwise it would be random chance what buildings are idolized, which men and women become famous for their looks, etc.
Some of it's subjective, but some of it's not. I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that most people would think someone with straight, white teeth, symmetrical facial features and clean, smooth skin would be more beautiful than someone with yellowing, crooked and rotten teeth, a crooked, broken nose and a bad case of acne, even just going by my description, without a picture. It may not be completely politically correct to say it, but it's true - some people and some things are just more beautiful than others.
In an airplane, what is and isn't beautiful is more subtle, and maybe more subjective. But planes have lines and curves just like people do, and while there's no ingrained instinct that we have for how a plane "should" look (planes are not natural things, after all), I think people have a tendency to try to assign human or animal traits to the inanimate objects they look at and this is very easy to do with a plane, since it seems to have a face (even down to the "nose"), it has "wings", it has a "tail", etc. We think of planes really as large birds with human faces. And I think we determine beauty on that basis.
I personally think the A380 is an ugly plane, whereas I think the 747 is probably the most beautiful plane ever made. I have always thought that, and I can remember the days when the 747-100 was the current model (just saying people thought it was a great-looking plane from the beginning). It's just perfectly proportioned, and the hump has always given it a strong, sort of masculine look that most planes don't have. I've always thought the way Boeing's standard nose tapers looks just right (Boeing used basically the same nose shape up until the 757; it's just scaled up on the 747).
Now, the 747SP I've always thought was extremely ugly. The proportions are just thrown all out of whack; it doesn't look big and strong, it looks squat and fat. I also don't think the 747-400 looks as good as the earlier models - the extended hump makes it look a bit hunchbacked. But it's still basically a beautiful plane.
The A380, as big as it is, also looks squat and fat. Its body is too big around and it's got that stubby Airbus nose similar to the A320 series (I actually don't think the nose on the A320 line looks so bad; it kind of makes those planes look cute, but it looks out of place on the big A380). Its wings are also too big for its body (huge as it is) - they have to be big, I know, but I'm just talking aesthetics here. Seen from slightly above, the plane looks frankly ridiculous from the pictures I've seen of it leaving the factory.
I don't think all Airbus planes are ugly - I think the A340 is a nice-looking plane (better than the similar A330 - just looks better with four engines), and I think the A320 is cute, maybe even better looking than the 737 (which I've always thought was the worst-looking Boeing aircraft, though it's gotten better looking over the years as its gotten longer and received updated engines and an updated tail). But the A380 is butt ugly and there's no way I'll ever think anything different.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!