Finally I completed the new theme for this blog.
The intent is to use the same theme for all parts of the website. This includes the yet to be started home page, photo gallery and this blog.
I kept the LnF of the old page, but added a three column layout. The intent is to add goggle adsense box in the left column under Categories. I added the shaded gradients (got them by photoshopping/gimping the original grey gradient) as the background for the left and right columns. I also added the top bar to navigate to different parts of the website, and a color theme swticher (this I think is cool. Note that the page does not reload. Only the CSS is switched.)
In the process of this I learnt a lot of CSS. CSS is not really the Holy Grail of web page layout as it is claimed to be. Apart from the browser idiosyncrasies, I needed to add multiple structural <div> to get the layout right. I also wanted to have a rounded corners, but to do that I would need to add some more structural <div> and some more images.. Still its better than HTML tables.
My primary browser is Firefox, so I have only tested it with FF1.0.1/1.0.2 . A quick glance shows that the theme looks ok on IE, but some borders/margins are different. Opera looks ok too.