Using XSL can completely change the way that any standard list view is displayed. There is a great video from Laura Rogers demonstrating what can be done with the XSLT List View in SharePoint Designer here.
You can also build your own XSL sheets and use them in the style library by linking them in the web part properties.
COM, jQuery and AJAX
Inside the web part’s AJAX settings we can set the auto refresh so the list displays the new item (again without refreshing the page).
Building solutions like this can create complete customisable solutions using only custom lists in a modern integrated (no refresh) style.