Sharepoint Forum Q & A: Designs and flair and what to give on a intranet

Q) I have a requirement to design and give flair for a sharepoint site, Does anyone know of sites which give good examples and can give you master pages and good left hand navigations ?... on a intranet for a company what would you consider in designs and features for a company e.g social site, personal ads

A) How to: Customize the Display of Quick Launch the Quick Launch menu: Adding fly-out menus to SharePoint navigation
Customizing Quick Launch and the Top Link Bar Through the User Interface
A blog which discuss about intranet site, and about the custom navigational menus both horizontal and left Navigational
Planning your SharePoint site following links are taken from the above link
Determine the information architecture of your site
Some points are discussed here are for MS Publisher but usefull
Heather Solomon's Branding series - Branding SharePoint - Part 1: Designing your SharePoint Site

Normally these are the features which are considered most.
1. Intranet Branding, very good design layout and easy to use
2. Wiki's, Discussion Boards
3. Personalization
4. Calendars
5. Search
6. News, Polls
7. Employee Self Service Portal