With the switch to Vector, some changes in the design have been made and some have been copied from Monobook. One thing that was however already got critique in Monobook was the layout of .usermessage ("You have new messages"), which is called the "Kackbalken" in the German Wikipedia. Some years already ago, the German user "BlueFiSH.as" has made an improvement for this in his /monobook.css that many users copied there, but the MediaWiki default has remained like that. I feel his design would perfectly fit into the new Vector skin. You can check out the color choice on his user page http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:BLueFiSH.as (first box at the top). Thus, I'd propose using this within the Vector skin of MediaWiki. For your convenience, I've tried to produce a patch with the "diff -u" command line, please let me know if that's wrong. What do you think of this idea?