Magento’s theming is only difficult, at least to me, because its approached differently than other websites that I’ve worked on. What makes it different is because the hard coded html of the site is not local to the style sheeting or images.
However, creating a theme is easy once you get over that.
I’m not trying to sound rude, but my suggestion to everyone that wants a free theme, is to design it them selves.
This provides much more benefits than you might think.
A) You have to learn something if you don’t know html or css, and the more you know, the less you have to rely on others.
B) You help the community around you grow. Open Source applications revolve around their community. If people keep taking and not giving, open source applications fail.
C) You waste less time having to wait for someone to come up with the idea that you want.
Honestly, Magento doesn’t require a huge knowledge base. Simple html and css codeing is all it takes.
Steps to designing your own theme:
1) Draw out an idea on paper.
2) Review your idea and draw boxes around each section.
3) Transcode your boxes into a simple html page of <div>s or a <table>.
4) Drop in the <?php> code thats in the existing default template.
5) Then use css to make it pretty.
Happy birthday, the end, you have yourself a new Magento theme my friend!
IMHO - It would be cool to see some themes from Varien because they have proved them selves to be quite accomplished coders. However, I’d rather see a production version of Magento than a pretty skin.