I have found the least strain using a gradient from the 2000 blue to white. People coming from AutoCAD are used to the black or dark gray. in this program, trying to back may create more headache than it solves. If you take the time to mess with all the color setting you can likely work it out, but a back background was never the intention of this software from what I can see.
2. Is there a way to change my parts list box and text to different colors?
Questions #1 & #3 are likely to be buried in the depths of the registry,...but, #2, Yes there is a settings method for this found under View tab > Styles.....Style Type select Table then Modify > Lines tab & Text tab.