In the pre-thread for this subject there was mention of complexity and simplicity, and for sure those play part in how we interpret designs. There is also the important element of what scale we interact with these developments. As things grow into towers, the repetitions are viewed more as textures than monotony because the expectation is that it is viewed it from a distance. There is also a shift of expectations from residential to commercial. Going to the other extreme, a block full of identical single family homes, no matter how nice the individual design, becomes distasteful.
These mid-sized apartment completes fall in this awkward middle space, too small for their repetitions to look like the texture of a commercial building and too large for the full-on variation of a typical neighborhood of single family homes to work. (which is not to say that random variations cannot themselves be a type of texture, like variations in a pile of river rocks has a small scale differentiation and a large scale uniform similarity) They end up looking institutional.
I think I'm most frustrated with the geometric aspect that is unchangeable in our super-cost-sensitive kind of market, and that everything is going to be a box. Not a wedge, not a pyramid, not a box with holes in it, just a box. How you color up the outside is a second order issue after geometry.
I always want there to be an attention to detail; that for every decision made that it leaves the impression that there was a thoughtful reason for doing it that way. The example Austin55 just provided has material changes vertically mid-way through windows -- it would be interesting to hear the the thoughtful reason behind that.