Design that is eye-friendly

I have been to sites which I call eye-sores because it is difficult to read not just with the size of the font but with the glaring background of the web page. Maybe I am getting old but even my writer friends tell me that fonts are important in the design that the comfort of the eyes should be taken into consideration. For me, bigger fonts are great and light background is cool. But some designers are so artistic that they will insist on the dark background which is like a horror theme. Anyway, my bet is for designers to always give a premium to the convenience of reading and less for the artistic touch.