Matthew1980 - 7:23 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)
It looks the best/most professional. And make it 100 %width. Also use a cool theme with gradients. The current forum theme here looks like it was designed in 1989.
Image load time.... - clunky software?, yes this may be old s/w BUT it's PROVEN as a good bit of kit. This is a clutter free place that is used by professional developers and seasoned hobbiests, the content of posts is what matters, not the frills around it.
There is no need to add graphical aestheitcs here, people read these forums because there is no distractions, just plain text - this enables you to concentrate on the issues and where you can answer the question or just give your thoughts.
The only thing I could suggest as an improvement is to have (right hand column) the thread originator & last post by, that would be a helpful addition.