OK, understood. So then, what caused the site volunteers to update the experience and voting system rather than protect the privacy of the users? While I haven't spoken to any of them about this, my sense is that, like most things, the experience and voting system are very visible to the end users, while the fact that passwords were stored in plaintext was not. I would venture a guess that, had enough of the monks complained about the passwords when the folks were considering whether to update the experience and voting system or go to a different password storage system, they would have chosen to work on the passwords. That's just conjecture on my part, though.
Updated to change "That begs the question" to "So then" to make Anonymous Monk feel better.