We have an old ceiling light in the countryside dining room that I always thought was a bit blah. (As you now, just because something is vintage doesn't automatically make it awesome). But it had been in the house for long, so it's not something you change just like that. When we renovated we took the lamp shades away and I noticed the lamp looked much better, in a fun kid of way, with only the light bulbs there.
The shades themselves were not that ugly but some of them a slightly broken plus they made the lamp rather uninteresting and, well, sort of stupid.
For some time I couldn't find any decent looking energy saving bulbs (as the original ones are not around anymore). Most new ones have a different, white base and smaller bulb instead and for the whole thing to work they have to look like the traditional ones. But, I found some, it worked out . (And later noticed that the internet would have been full of such. Well for course it is, it's the interwebs after all..).
I thought this was a contemporary twist on an old object but then I saw a glimpse of a ceiling light just like this, with bare bulbs, on Boardwalk Empire too. I guess they've done their homework so some have apparently kept their lamps this way back in the days too...