During last year I tested and adopted two tools for my environment: the Anonymous Pro font and the Solarized color palette. After months of use, there is no way back: the difference of comfort is significant, and any text application allowing to be configured so gets them on my work stations.
Solarized has a repository of configuration files for various applications. Unfortunately those are made by different people, with different tastes, and thus the color choices are not consistent from one application to another. This means you may still have to go through a good deal of tweaking if this is annoying to you.
I’ve been using Solarized for more than a year, and as you say, there’s no way back. My eyes hurt whenever I open a new IDE with a white background.
As for fonts, I’ve been using Consolas, a sort of tighter Courier New for coders. I’ll give Anonymous Pro a try :)
Yes Consolas is very nice too, it looks way better than Courrier. I don’t know if their authors insisted as much on readability though; that point really is the main focus of Anonymous Pro.