For many Whyvillians, creating aesthetically pleasing avatars is a lot of fun - I know I spend a lot of my time in Pick Your Nose experimenting with new looks. However, for me, having amazing parts isn't always essential for pretty avatars. I think that where you place each part is just as important as the quality of the part. Of course, it does help if the pixels aren't randomly dotted around, but each Whyvillian's perspective of beauty will be different - I will give you a few tips to help you make your avatar look better, based on my opinion of what looks good.
In real life, our faces are proportioned so that our ears are pretty much in line with our eyes, which are about halfway down our head; our eyebrows follow the line of our nose. I think that the best looking avatars are those that more closely resemble our faces in real life. The way that you design your avatar is very much based n the scale you prefer. For example, if you are spending a lot of your time in the Woods, or some other scale two chatroom, you may prefer to ensure your look is not deformed in that scale. If however, you spend more time on the forums, or a scale three chatroom, the appearance of your avatar in scale two will not matter so much. Different eyes (particularly Talisa2 eyes) change appearance, and sometimes position in different scales. I'll give you a before and after of an avatar with and without realistic proportions.
All I did was pull down the eyes, push up the lips and add a chin. Personally, I think chins are a must because they add definition to your avatar's face. The nose that I used is one that I see everywhere - but it is fairly difficult to use because of its shape. For that nose, I recommend making sure that the top of the nose curves in the direction of the brows. It looks a lot better with eyes at the same height of the bridge rather than above it.
When I was new, I really struggled in finding pretty parts. Some great designers with designs in Akbar's are iPeny/Shugalump, UoChan, Talisa2 and ir0nheart. If you're not too fussy, you can opt for remakes. You can find these easily in the forums and Akbar's. For hair, my favorite designers are SalsaDoll, AcidicA/Fibery, Marvelous and Veoux. Their designs are usually not available in Akbar's, but ir0nheart and iPeny do have some hair instock. Another good place to find nice face parts is when the New Arrivals are released at 12.03. Have fun designing your new looks!