When the site went live, there was a bit of consternation about the little favicon.
One prevailing sentiment was, "We need to at least make the bookmark bigger, but it would be even better if we could use the E, rather than just the bookmark."
I didn't really detect much support for the first option, but there were plenty of hints dropped by the rest of the community toward the second.
In his highly upvoted question, Nathan Tuggy said, "The other [option] would be to use the entire E/bookmark ... If possible, I'd prefer this choice, I think."
In an answer to the New Site Design! post, WendiKidd ♦ remarked, "Either the orange bookmark only, without the circle, or the E dictionary with the orange bookmark (I support the second option, but the first would also be an improvement)."
In a couple comments on Nathan's question, Lucky opined, "What's a bookmark without a book? It doesn't look good on its own. It is quite plain compared to other SE websites' logos. The rest of the design is great, but the icons with the books would really be a cherry on the cake."
In my answer to the New Site Design! meta question, I said, "It would be nice if that E were incorporated as the tiny symbol used in the SE pulldown." As of this writing, that answer has 27 upvotes and 0 downvotes.
I've yet to find even a stray comment that conveys the sentiment, "I think those little bookmarks look great by themselves! Besides, the E would be too small." (However, if people do feel that way, this would be a good place to make their opinion known.)
I like what Nathan said in his question:
I double-checked, and the favicon didn't make it into the design preview, or I would (hopefully) have commented on this earlier.
I think much of the community feels this same way: we had our chance to weigh in on the overall design, but that lone bookmark caught us by surprise. I'm glad it's been enlarged to a more recognizable form, but I still sense this is something that's widely regarded as thrust upon the community with little grass roots support.
I'm hoping there's one more design iteration yet to come.