I decided to try one of the new layouts and I am not that impressed. Blogger (with Google) seem to have as many options as the template but once I changed it, I couldn't go back.
In order to have the spacing the way I wanted it, I gave up my blog description, added a photograph that I took up at the Legion, but kept the title (natch). There didn't seem to be any way to move the description up or down, center it or change the font to something that looked better. I'm sure that there IS a way but I haven't figured it out yet. I am always striving for a clean, clear layout, one that's easy to read and where both text and image are balanced. So, I think that part is acceptable but I'd sure like to customize the header more.
Consider this a work in progress and comments are welcome.