In my opinion blogs with so much activity or wild color schemes detract from the overall appeal of a blog. I prefer simple layouts, with easy to read and thus follow entries and comments. Entries tend to be in very disconnected series as it is (one of the things that make them interesting to read), whatever you decide upon the apply the KISS principle for your readership and they will not only return, but you may find they will plow through your archives as well.
Just my nickel’s worth from a new blogger. Kinda of like using trackbacks to comment to posts instead of just leaving a comment, it helps build connections from various communities, again adding to the fun factor as you never know just where you will end up.