I have to say I don't agree with the complaints about image size, for a few reasons:
- I hate splash screens. If there is a choice between scrolling down to read something and having to click through a splashy introduction (and program cookies and bookmarks not to return to the splash every time you reload) then I would go for the former.
- It's a fun picture that sets the mood of the page. It has detail and it is pretty (although not exactly what I'd pick). Regular readers may like to get straight to the text, but first time readers will like the graphic. These groups need to be balanced against each other.
- The text isn't too far down! On a screen with 1000px vertical space at least you can read an entire post before you need to scroll.
- Scrolling is pretty essential anyway. I can think of very few sites where I don't have to scroll to get what I want. Half a mouse-wheel revolution for the sake of a picture is not going to kill me.
The only problem I can see is if this site gets so many hits that bandwidth allowances cause difficulties. Otherwise, I love the site. If you change anything then cross-test the alignment of the menu column (right) in other browsers. It escapes its place in Firefox 0.9/WinXP.