In my home directory, I create a .vimrc file containing the following:

set t_Co=256  
syntax enable  
set background=light  
set noautoindent  

This gives me the following example syntax highlighting:

Without the above config, the same file opened in vim would look like this:

Subtle, but makes a difference.

The noautoindent is helpful when dealing with formats such as XML - I get to control the indentation - especially during copy/paste operations.