Very good points here. Not to be contrary, I’d only note that all of the densely populated designs above aren’t really all that messy: What they all have in common is a very clear content hierarchy and thoughtful information clustering.
Those minimalist designs we’re seeing become popular right now — especially on many new responsive sites — do seem to betray a lack of creativity. That layout for the Compliments site is an incredibly safe one, which is guaranteed to scale easily across desktop, tablet and mobile. Once you see it for that, you definitely start seeing that precise layout everywhere. It just means taking a little more time to develop (or be exposed to) some other more detailed yet still graceful ways of creating responsive experiences.