Fever offers a hot new approach to reading feeds
Here's the catch, though: Fever's not a desktop app. It's a PHP/MySQL app that you host on your own server. This offers several advantages: you can access it from anywhere, you can filter ads by blacklisting advertising domains, it updates itself automatically, and you can use cron to make your feeds automatically refresh whenever you choose. Fever is powerful, but I'm sure some people are going to balk at installing it, despite the very nice video walkthrough on the site.
If you don't mind running Fever on your server, but you're the kind of person who really needs an icon in the dock, you can run Fever on the desktop using Fluid, which turns web apps into standalone browsers. Fever also has a very, very nicely-done iPhone-optimized design, so if you're checking your feeds from an iPhone, you're in for a treat (without having to download an iPhone app, even).