Well if the card is not a reference cooler then tbh Gainward and Palit can pretty much do what they want. They're obviously buying 'vanilla' boards and then whacking on coolers.
I'm not a big fan of Palit any way. They did a version of the 9800GT with a tiny flower cooler and pathetic ram coolers. Again, this is all fine if you intend to keep them at stock but that's where it ends.
IMO the best looking one for playing around with is the Asus. It doesn't look the nicest but it has heatpipes poking out and everything. Looks the best for Overclocking.
Also to mention something pointed out by Mul...
"Due to logistical issues with our original GTX 460 supplier, we had to request a nVidia Reference GTX 460 sample instead. While this is not really an issue, I must warn that there are no pretty photographs of decorated packaging or accessory sets
To be completely honest mate I like
the virgin reference cards. I think they look more mean. Once a company starts putting stickers on them they lose all their charm hehe. Mind you, I'm a bit of a Ratrod flat black man myself, so that may be why. But when the 5770 released I tried everything to get the reference plain ones with the ATI logo on the fan. At least that way you're not paying for some dumb sticker with a semi clad woman accross it lol.