Yeah, my brew store has a big, translucent barrel of LME that they serve out of. It's always pretty dark to begin with, so you add in the caramelisation and everything ends up brown. Not to mention that it just doesn't taste good.
It's kept in clear containers!? My LHBS has it in those cool 80# plastic containers and pushes it out with CO2 instead of gravity. I only use their Alexander's pale LME and I can make some pretty light beers. I do late additions to so that might help.