you should stay away from flashy & heavy process//bandwidth - when it comes to themes I couldn't recommend one. I learned Web Dev from the ground up started with HTML , moved to CSS , jScript , & PHP.
things I would suggest though. Is keep it simple, look at Blizzhackers. the layout is simple. just a few simple colors. nothing clashes
I'm sure behind the scene the website is complicated. but that's not what your users want to deal with. either go black or white with your text - obviously if you go white you need a darker color background. I come from more of a e-commerce side of web dev. so you may not want to keep a video game site as simple as something I would build for a business. so I mean have fun and do your website how ever you want. but the only things that should be complex is your script//code - not your design. look at facebook they moved towards the busy theme... which I personally dont like. have your menu at the top or the right hand side.
Sorry I can't be of much help. but ssimple things to think of.
Thanks for throwing in your two cents. I certainly agree with you keeping it simple.
I've actually gotten much further along and I am pretty stoked, starting to get the hang of wordpress.