As for anime recommendations, I tend to catch a few good ones in the crap that Adult Swim (Cartoon Network's night programming, if you didn't know) plays on Saturday nights. I thoroughly enjoyed Death Note, and I definitely recommend if you're looking for something serious and more dark.
Also, I'm a big fan of Fulmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (there were two different anime adaptions, but the Brotherhood version is the one that follows the manga storyline, and thus has a much better story).
Durarara!! is a really good anime, with excellent animation, and a multiple overlapping storylines with just enough paranormal touches to not ruin the realism.
And finally, I'd be cheating you out of life if I didn't recommend Fooly Cooly (also known as FLCL). Essentially, it is six epiodes of an acid-trip of an anime, but with really interesting animation, a wonderful soundtrack, and a story that makes you think about it. The creators of Avatar are admittedly huge fans of FLCL and even ordered the animators to watch all six episodes before they began production!