Aspiring New WP Blogger needs a staightforward clean theme

I have a colleague who is considering moving to WordPress and I am all for encouraging new WP folk! He is a writer, uses some but limited number images and I am looking for a good honest theme for him to grow with.

Ease of use and elegant presentation are important as pet blogging is a serious business these days, and presentation of a blog can make a big difference to sponsorship opportunities.

The quality is more important than the initial cost of the theme. Your suggestions would be very welcome.