I agree - the 1993 themes are my favourites too. David Lowe's music was revolutionary in 1999 but it's way past its sell by date now. The golden age of Lowe music was most definitely between 1999 and 2003. Everything since has got progressively worse (with the sole exception of the 2007 BBC News 24/World music). Maybe we still love the 1993 themes because they were relatively short-lived and didn't really get messed around with in the same was Lowe's have? Either way, the orchestral themes certainly sounded more 'expensive' compared to the relatively 'cheap' sound of Lowe's music.
You're not alone in disliking the current BBC News countdown. In my opinion, it was at its best between 1999 and 2003. Every iteration since has been underwhelming and personally I think it was a waste of time and money commissioning an orchestra to add strings to it in 2013. It's hardly noticeable.
For me, the opening two or three bars (I think that it is the correct term) to the 93-99 Six O'Clock News music was immense. It rose from just a cymbal sound to a full orchestra belting out the tune in such a dramatic way.
I also loved the Breakfast News 93-99 music and the One O'Clock News reversion of the same era. I thought the Nine O'Clock News's theme tune was worse than the original 89-93 version but only marginally so - it sounded a lot more synthesizer driven. Of course, I believe the same era saw the introduction of an electric guitar to the Newsnight theme tune which, for me, worked well.
I loved the whole look of the 93-99 era too. Given how computer graphics have progressed in the time since, it would be really interesting to see how the look would have evolved had they stuck with it.
I have to differ with you on the countdown - I never liked it. I did like the flags to-the-hour sequence but I am and was a huge fan of the flags anyway. My big problem with the countdown since 2005 is the "reporter-as-hero" vibe - it's making the news more personality-driven, a development which I believe cheapens BBC News.
Perhaps the thing I miss just as much as the old 93-99 era was the era when reporters giving live interviews back to the studio presenter did not refer to each other by their first names and they did not thank them for giving them an update. Very American - and I love America and Americans but I am British, goddamn it!
OFCOM's queen bitch