The search box took me too long to find. Granted, it is located in the upper-right corner of the page, which is a common location. However, the search box border is too light for me to easily see it out of my periphery. I think the border should be darker so you can see and be aware of it even if you don't need it yet.
Proposed change to SO to eliminate this problem:
To be fair, my monitor at work sucks and makes items blend together if they don't have a high contrast in color between them. The border around the search box is pretty dim.
However, if I were looking for it, I would have no trouble finding it, and failing that, there's always the trusty "find in page" function on every browser out there.
I do not support this suggestion.
I think it would be hard to miss if you found the
Ask Question button. Additionally, attempting to ask a question for the first time I believe prompts you about searching first, and I know when you type in the title for your question, it brings up a search. More simply put, I believe there are a lot of tools in place to help keep you from asking before searching, so I'm not sure there's a reason to make the search box any more obvious.
Well, it's nice to know my post garnered so much attention, particularly that of Jeff.
Seeing as how this is a communal knowledge dump, the most prominent features should be the Ask Question button and the Search field. If I were to draw a line of where my eyes were glancing on this page for the first time, it starts at the Stack Overflow logo, and abruptly turns downward at the Ask Question button and then turns to the main page content. My path avoids completely the top bar, such that I have to check again for the Search box.
I am using Steve Kruggs' "Don't Make Me Think" as a basis for my suggestion. I shouldn't have to think about how to access one of the main features of the site. Maybe a little repositioning is in order. I also like the flashing arrows :-P