I voted for I play UA with UAShell to apply "hacked" mods
, because I no longer play UA
sounds so final. But in truth I play it very rarely nowadays, if at all. The only incentive I have to play it is when something new and comparatively short is released, like your last superhero design. At that time I was away from home and had only access to my netbook which is better suited for less demanding games like UA, so I downloaded your design, started playing it for 10 minutes or so and had fun, and then I decided I would save it until my return trip, to pass the time on the train. But then for some reason I read a book instead and let the netbook rest in my backpack during the ride. And back home I got distracted by my new PC and my huge indie, classic and AAA game collection, playing through Psychonauts, Driftmoon and Jade Empire and forgetting all about UA again ...
So in short, I'm still interested in playing UA and especially your designs, but it isn't my top priority with all those other entertainment options I'm overwhelmed with nowadays. I hardly ever think "I want nothing more badly than to play UA right now", I always need to tell myself to sit down and play it, in order for it to work (and if I do, I can enjoy it again, but I'm not automatically drawn to it anymore.)
I guess, apart from all the alternatives I have, my waning interest in UA might also have to do with the decreasing activity in the community. Not to say it isn't active, it's quite stable and there are quite a few good people here who are still involved, but not as many as there used to be. I miss hearing from Keith, Ray and Darius more often, and I'm still sad about Merle vanishing again. It's kind of tricky, because I can understand everyone's reasons for not being as active anymore and of course I myself don't show much involvement either, but most of the times my enthusiam for UA was inspired by the activity and accomplishments of others; seeing regular previews and releases, being needed as a playtester or challenged by contests with several participants, that sort of thing ... Secretly, I'm still hoping GOG (or some other DRM-free digital download service) will some day manage to free the old D&D games from licensing limbo and make them available again, so that we might get a new influx of players and designers and people enthusiastic enough about UA's possibilities to light my own fire again.
As to hacked vs. default, I still prefer heavily hacked and visually unique designs. I wouldn't say "never", but these days I'd hardly ever touch a vanilla design, unless it had a very original or humorous premise, few (random) combats and a greater focus on story-telling. (I'm more lenient with French vanilla, but hacked ones are still preferable.)