My initial impression is that it feels a bit empty, especially the home page. Removing some of the white space and adding additional content would help. You may also want to consider removing the jquery tooltip effect on your home page, and actually including that content directly in your page instead. I’d much prefer to quickly scan the page than to have to mouse over each of the links in the content and wait for it to load.
Keep in mind… these "trendy effects" are just that — trendy. Just because they are popular at the moment doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be popular forever, and it doesn’t mean that it suits you or the look you are going for. Chances are, some of the things that are in style at the moment will fade in popularity, and other elements will take their place. Focus instead on making the site present yourself in the most professional way possible, and be accessible and usable for your audience.
One other note… putting your navigation in the footer is probably a bad move. On a 1024×768 screen resolution, the user has to scroll to access the navigation, and it isn’t immediately visible when the page is loaded. That is why most designers place the navigation up near the top of the page.
But on a technical side I would add that you have a problem with your jQuery. If you roll on and off your expandable items it will keep looping, you need to add a stop(); so your animation will restart once you hover out and in quickly, meaning it will only do it once and not 400 times :D
I like your updated version much better, although I did also like the simplicity of your first page. I think with a little spiffing, maybe adding in some drop shadows with your boxes, doing a bit of photoshop work, the page would really pull together.