I agree no smileys or avatars I think 95% of us are old enough to be totally unimpressed by them. Page width is still only half width of screen. How about making it a bit wider then sticking any adverts on right side of page
Honest opinion. Dreadfull. This would probably look Ok if it was a website that you visited seldomly but having to look at it every day would put you off using it. I agree with mark2s comments. It looks bright and cheer full just not my cup of tea.
First reaction was like mark2 and buteman, but then I try to understand that anything 'new' that does not have the familiarity we're used to for the past years, will need time to become 'the norm'. Old dogs and new tricks, I suppose.