If someone who maintains this site has a bit of free time, maybe you could enable users to choose from a selection of colour schemes? Beige and white is great (for a while) but I find myself wanting to change it to something else.
Also a few more Emoticons would be nice.
I think you underestimate how much work it would be to implement functionality to allow users to pick a color scheme (the software currently does not have this feature). Not to mention all the buttons that are made to match the current color scheme. Plus, changing the look of the site does not seem to be high on anyone's priority list, compared to fixing bugs or implementing new features.
As to smilies, having more has been suggested in the past, but the majority opinion amongst moderators has been that, if anything, there should be fewer, not more. Of course, you can always include image links in your posts that point to some external image file, if there is some particular smiley you like to use. A browser extension like Clippings for Firefox would make this easy.
Ping & DNS - updated with new look and Ping home screen widget
Which is not to say that either option is out of the question.
If someone were to come to us and give an example of a drop in replacement CSS and buttons that would enable a different theme, then of course we would look at it seriously.
Similarly, if someone were to provide an example of an emoticon that we currently don't have, and that clearly expresses some emotion, and can also provide common use-cases for it, then we would consider it.
Let's see how you go at the two tasks you have just set for yourself!