Ive noticed a pretty big difference between UK and US websites here, you guys in the US seem obsessed with graphics, most people i know here in the UK seem to go for simple, effective fast loading sites without hundreds of graphics.
After all its content that counts
actually no, heh. i know that if i click on a link and the site comes up, if it doesnt catch my attention i close it. you've gotta have a good layout to catch the users attention and try to convey them into reading your content.