Aero levers aren't easier to use because they are aero. But they are easier to use because of their other improvements.
The aero design necessitates a more favourable pivot location, or rather the reverse.
Originally Posted by rydabent
But there again the difference in drag for the ave rider comes down to a bug fart in a hurricane.
On the other hand wrapped cables do make the bike look cleaner. The cleanist looking bikes IMO were in the late 80s that had down tube shifters, and wrapped brake cables.
As you say, the main thing is, it looks aero, which counts for a lot with most. But there's definitely a practical advantage when it comes to using handlebar bags, or even just carrying a carton of milk home from the shop.
Not to mention being able to flip the bike to work on it without having to find something to chock up the bars, which is decidedly unstable anyway.
If you ask me, the cleanest-looking bikes are fitted with Ergos or Doubletaps (Shimano's aero STIs don't make the cut cause they're fugly. Plus they suck). Or even Modolo's obscure Morphos, if you look from the right angle.
No downtube levers and two more cables going under the tape is definitely cleaner IMO. Except modern bikes are most often pretty lairy.