Potential things to consider:
It's a guess, but if he doesn't like Blacks then he probably won't like any other linear switch either ..which of course includes Reds.
I personally prefer Blues (gaming and typing), and feel that Browns are indistinct with their tactile bump. Clears are sort of straddle between the Blues and the Browns - so that might be a viable match.
For gaming and typing I prefer 10-keyless (..and of course it can always be purchased as an addition that can be removed at-will).
10-keyless is a better spaced design for the mouse, while not having the cramped key character of some of the smaller boards.
Programmable keys are great.. BUT I don't really like this for a standard keyboard (instead preferring my Belkin Nostromo.. which is updated in the form of a Razer Tartarus v2).
IF I were to purchase such a design (programmable keyboard), then it would have to be from a major brand, have full on-board memory (of course), and have full gui-programming software support for those macros. My thinking here is that you are more likely to get the program working with an ever-updating Windows if enough other people are purchasing the board. (..the on-board memory is pretty obvious, and the gui-programming makes it a lot easier to change profiles depending on the game or application rather than having to re-program from the keyboard itself.)
Lighting.. eh. Some gamers really depend on this to be able to identify the keystroke in the dark (or even in the light with different colors). I figure if you are going to have lighting it should be per key and RGB for differentiation. Personally though I find that it's distracting and have gone so far as to tape-off the lighting on my Belkin gaming keypad.
I like good construction, I'd take that over most other attributes. IMO a good keyboard should last at least 10 years without problem (..and continue to maintain the functionality it had at its optimum).
This means a good thick, non-flexing, and weighty board. Also,
..DOUBLE SHOT (if backlit) *PBT* caps (with good texture) - really make a huge difference in feel over time. Either purchasing a board with these, OR making sure the keyswitch is compatible with after-market PBT caps. Additionally, making sure the keyboard layout is compatible with after market key caps.
This is a very nice (though pricey) keyboard that meets the above requirements:https://www.amazon.com/Double-Shot-Mech ... B01LYV47MV
without lighting:https://www.amazon.com/IKBC-KD87-BK-BL- ... B01MUBME0Q