I've created a very simple, very lightweight single column theme called the ltlblg theme. It's released under the GPL.
It has Asides functionality built in, as well as some tumblelog-like functionality. The code is bare-bones, dead simple, and well commented, meaning it's easy to tweak even for beginners. The default colours are simple, stylish and plain.
If you want to create a blog where content is king and the cruft is stripped out, take a look. Any criticism is welcome, and don't worry, be truthful. Cheers for your time,