I just realized something when using XF for the thousands time:
In the current state your eyes are distracted too much by those icons, especially when you use a small browser window. The focus should be on the thread titles, not the icons that tell me (often for the thousands of times) that a thread is sticky or locked.
My suggestion is this: wouldn't it be a good idea if the presentation of these icons on thread overview follow the same path as the rss-indicators do on the forum-overview:
You see how clean the forumoverview looks on XenForo? One of the ways they achieved this is by displaying faded-out images of the rss-icon. They will only become more strongly visibly when you mouseover the forumtitle-cell, which makes perfect sense. I love XF's UI!
So, why not follow the same great approach on thread overview where we even have more icons (and depending on your setup/forums sometimes those icons can populate the overview heavily)? Making them faded-out by default gives us not only consistency, but -this is the goal- a cleaner thread overview in the end.
Hopefully XF can pioneer in this. The more (too) visible indicators on a forum screen, the more I hate such a forum package. Seeing and using the outstanding XF interface for the first couple of times made me realize this even more...