gravel is definatly ALOT easier to clean then sand..just because the sand particles are so small they get sucked up the siphon....its all about personal preference, and the lengths your willing to go to for your fish
sand looks very naturel and I personally think it does look better. anyhow they can get in your hang on filter and make alot of noise. gravel is much easier to keep IMO. you can get sand really cheap in home depot if you want to get some. good look with your tank, and I'm looking foward to see the finishing results when your done with the remodelation.
there is some one selling driftwood on our forums right now in the members classified sction. dude...is your user name humper?
O btw, ther is an art to cleaning sand, it is ez IMO, I use it in all the tanks I have built in the past few months. It's ez to tell when the syphon hose is too close to the sand, it picks up P poopy like nothin. I <3 sand. Also, if it gets in the fliter, all u gotta do is syphon out the impeller bay with a small air hose, and clean off the impeller really well.