Most of the pages I design are kept very simple for a reason. (Not a lot of graphics, buttons, fancy backgrounds, etc...)
The reason is: I believe that most people, when "surfing the web" for information, really just want to get the information in a fast, clear and easy to read format. All those fancy graphics take time to load over a regular dial-up (28.8 or slower) Internet connection, which is still the most common method used for the majority of Internet users.
I can (and occasionaly do, when the situations calls for it) make elaborate, graphically beautiful web sites, with the images optimized to transfer as quickly as possibile. (See my personal Graphic Design & Art page for an example.) But for the vast majority of the pages that I design, you will notice that the pages are mostly text, and always easy to read, no matter what browser and screen resolution the user has.