To the Visual or Non-Visual: Looking for feedback

I am not fishing for praise.  I would really love your feedback on the direction we are headed for our site design.

Here are two comps I would love to hear your comments on. The top one is the design comp for our home page.  The bottom design is the comp for a back page of the site where we would highlight a few case studies.  Click for larger images ad please provide feedback.  Please interact with me in the comments below.