With the previous format I tried using the white background it was great with some of the text colors and awful with others. Like you stated it was hard on my eyes so I switched back to the dark blue background.
When I logged on to the new format the first thing I did was go to settings and try to switch to a dark background. I couldn't.
When the previous format was changed we lost the ability to use are own avatar pictures and were kind of promised it might return. It didn't.
I just hope the same isn't true here with the background color.
but when i logged in to the Forums earlier i was asked my opinion of the color and how the forums are set up so maybe they are going to change a few things! and also hopefull add a filter of some sort since the (clears throat) stunts that were pulled the last few weekends!