Uniformity is a good thing I suppose, but it flies in the face of the old adage "Variety is the spice of life."
It seems to me a bit of a shame that we only have a single choice when it comes to a chess set design for serious play - the Staunton design. Why can't we have one or two other acceptable alternatives to the Staunton design? Of course, by "serious" I mean a design that would be agreeable for play to the majority of chess players - not some ridiculous "Simpson" or "Lord of the Rings" theme set.
So let me present some possible candidates (drawn from actual historical examples) for alternatives to the "officially" sanctioned and endorsed Staunton design.
What do you think? Could you see yourself playing a serious (tournament?) game with any of these alternatives to the tried-and-true Staunton design? I could.