Everything I need to say about the new Woody Allen film To Rome with Love was better said in 1940 by type designer Frederic Goudy in his book Typologia:
To Rome with Love is a collection of interesting themes and ideas that, despite that, never come together to make a compelling whole. Sometimes this approach works; in this case it doesn’t. It’s still a worthwhile film, and if you are a fan of Allen’s work I suggest you see it; just don’t expect anything life-altering.
Sorry but for me the st combination in that typescript made me stop reading both times. It is not ugly, quite the opposite but still a distraction.
When I first read the book — I found an original copy of the 1940 edition several years ago in Copenhagen — I would have agreed with you. And in a single paragraph the ligature is jarring and causes one to pause. But in my experience, after a few pages or so, it becomes very natural and unnoticed and, I think, actually improves legibility.
An acquired taste, no doubt.