I've finally switched over to the new, more customizable layout for Blogger, after a considerable amount of resistance. The reason for the change is that the blog commenting service that I was using - Haloscan has been shut down because the hardware and software were failing. They were prepared to switch me over to their new product Echo, but Echo costs $12 a year. Sorry no sale.
Unfortunately it was nearly impossible for me to remove the old Haloscan commenting system and regain the Blogger commenting system, so I bit the bullet and switched. Rigth now I'm mostly happy. I've migrated most of the stuff I had on the old blog and dropped a number of links that I didn't need. I am not pleased with the new location of the top Adsense ad but as far as I can tell I can't put it where I want it, which is above the title.
I'll probably make a few changes in the foreseeable future but for now this is what I've been able to come up with.