I'm only going to say it once: YOUR SITE MUST LOOK SOMETHING LIKE THIS. You may substitute the left menu for one at the top, but unless you want people whispering and pointing at your site like some kind of freak, don't be any more adventurous. I'm telling you this for your own good. We welcome originality, but layouts have a standard of their own. I can cope with whatever content you put in it, but I'll be damned if I have to change my natural viewing angle by any number of degrees, and the viewing public will no doubt agree. Mark tells me that 'RSN' never looked like this, and how many of you know what RSN was? I rest my case.
People want action in the graphics - don't bother with uniquely arranged filters or careful colour matching, just find examples of fire, explosions, and shiny metallic things as they're always a favourite. Make sure, too, that your name is very large and put on the sides. Here's an example:
"Aagh my eyes, my poor virgin eyes!"
These are just some of the reactions the above header will cause when people will see it. With such powerful images no-one will be able to leave! (Whether this is due to their love of the graphics or whether they suddenly lose the power of sight and can't see where to click is variable.)
People need to read text easily, so make sure you choose a font such as 'Bauhas 93', 'Chiller', or 'Runic MT Condensed'. Using custom fonts is also a good idea - assume everyone has them and screw those that don't. You don't want those types of visitors, do you? Lazy bastards.