Funny, I also have to admit that I had design envy at a panel this morning where I saw the sleek blogs run by the Spokesman-Review newspaper. The Movies & More blog is an example of their template (even room for ads) along with little illos that would be fun.
But being realistic, we do have to stay within the BusinessWeek design, as B.L. Ochman's points out in comments below. So maybe we need advice on how to work with what we have.