You may be wondering why you hadn't noticed the sticky thread in this forum.
That is the entire point. If sticky threads are highlighted obviously, users suffer from 'sticky blindness' where they start reading the thread list from underneath the stickies, as they assume they have already seen whatever is stuck there.
If you want your users to actually read your stickies, they should look basically identical to normal threads.
I do love that mod to be honest, makes it look so nice and I feel is a great feature.
I personally don't see how they could be ignored easier if they're above all the regular posts. But it is in the communities best interest and aside from that I'm sure that it can easily be made into a mod which I would have no problem holding off on it.
IIRC, stickies have a separate CSS class so it would be trivial to style them differently via CSS.
But also remember the thinking that is behind this, which is stickies should look the same as other threads to encourage members to read them. If they look different then members can get "sticky blindness" and skip over them. Sort of the same reason why Google AdSense has worked so well for so long-- the text-based ads blend in with the page content instead of standing out.
Yes the 'sticky blindness' is exactly the reason I never did it either. The stickies at our board are all very hot topics, and no one complains about them looking the same as other topics. So I wouldn't recommend this modification either.