Novice's question on replacing light fixture

We're thinking of replacing this light fixture but have no idea how to go about it. Can we simply pick any one we like at the store? Can we install it or should we hire an electrician? What technical details (wattage, outlets, etc.) do we have to consider before we buy a new light fixture? Please note I'm starting from scratch.
Right now the bulbs face up toward the ceiling. One of the reasons I don't like the fixture is because of that upward lighting -- it's awfully bright. I want something that still is bright (because this is a dark room) but not as bright as this. I've been thinking of a large pendant lamp with a shade but I wonder if that will be too dim. Any thoughts on basic styles to consider?. Nothing design-y, please.
q novice s question on replacing light fixture, electrical, lighting
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