If you’re coming from a Windows background like me into the world of Linux, then you probably noticed that the fonts (in the GUI) in Hardy/Elyssa don’t look so crisp on your LCD monitor. In fact, they may look more blurry than in Windows. For me, I could never really get used to the blurry fonts at all — my eyes felt like they were always searching for something crisp and clean to hold onto.
So far, I found 3 fonts that look ultra-clean (in small sizes like 10 or 12 pt) on my Elyssa system: Kochi Gothic, Kochi Mincho, and Terminus. The Kochi fonts come installed by default (they are the fonts used for Japanese text, but also work for English text, though not European accented characters). As for Terminus, all you have to do is install the xfonts-terminus package from Synaptic. Terminus is supposedly the veteran font from the UNIX command-line days, and it does look quite excellent in small sizes. For me, I use the Terminus font as my default system font for all of my GUI menus and such. And boy, does it look crisp and clean! They look as if font anti-aliasing has been turned off – what a relief. So try out these fonts as your system fonts if you haven’t already!
UPDATE September 25, 2008: I forgot to mention in my original post: you should also install the xfonts-terminus-oblique package for the proper italicized version of the Terminus font.