After spending a couple of years trying to find a good WindowBlinds skin for my computer, I have finally discovered a good skin that uses the built-in Windows theme engine. The skin, GUI.Observer, has four different color themes and corresponding backgrounds. Even though the preview shows the task bar at the top of the screen, it still works just fine wherever you place the task bar. To install the theme, unzip the downloaded file to C:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes. This should give you a directory called GUIRelax with a file called GUIRelax.msstyles inside of it.
There is a catch to using this theme. Since it is unsigned, you must install a modified version of the Windows theme engine that accepts unsigned themes. You can get a patcher program that works on Windows XP (original, SP1, and SP2) that does the work for you. The patching process will force you to reboot. Also, don’t be alarmed when you get dumped to the Windows Classic theme upon running the patcher. Your normal theme will be used again once you reboot.
Another cool thing that I ran across was a program called Yz Shadow. It places drop shadows on all of your windows and menus and also makes all menus, including the Start Menu, partially transparent. To install it, simply unzip the contents of the file to somewhere on our hard drive (ex, C:\Program Files\YzShadow). Then, run the YzShadow.exe file and select your language. To make it start every time that Windows boots, create a shortcut to YzShadow.exe and place it in the Startup folder in your Start Menu.