Hi All. I think my contribution to this discussion will make more sense if I give a short introduction. I've submitted only one DX theme on WC called ShutterGirl (uploaded in 2001). I'm working on a new version now (featuring a new robot girl using a 3D product I broker at DAZ called Bot Armor) and still love and support OD and other Stardock stuff.
However, as far as I can tell Start Menu functionality has still not been fixed in all this time. What I mean is (and please correct me if I am wrong) to replace the OS start menu in DX I can a: create a Folder shortcut and check open as a popup menu which gives me the standard boring gray set of cascading menus (like default XP) except that they are too skinny and cut off any text longer than 18 characters (large monitor using slightly larger than standard font, might be ok for 1024 x 768) or b: add Start Menu 2 to abilities which gives me the XP start menu (with no configuration options) which pops up in the standard bottom left and can't be moved where I want it or skinned unless I use WB or c: do what everyone else does: create my own menus that (even with drag and drop functionality) have to be configured by the user which could take them many hours if they have a hundred or so programs and want to fully replace their OS start menu. I know that was kind of a "run on" but it defines my exasperation.
None of these are suitable options aesthetically and none of the themes I have been able to find so far (scripted or not ) have really found a way around this. So, if you are a newby you can find tons of cool themes that look fantastic and have amazing functions, but few if any that can fully replace the windows desktop "out of the box". I really think this gets at a major reason why DX is not more mainstream and making the big bucks. sVis and others have done a good job detailing what I'm talking about. Theme developers need to be able to more easily create fully functional themes for those that are not DX savvy and/or don't have time to dig into the stuff.
As cool as DX is, it hasn't reached the tiniest fraction of it's potential. I think one big reason is related to the discussion earlier in this thread around _Martin_ not gaining "Master" status. Now this may seem radical, but why have this feudal system (to reach "seller" status) at all? At DAZ, anyone can submit a product. If you know what you are doing, submit something that they think people will want to buy (and then fix anything that fails testing) you become a Published Artist and get to sell your stuff ( 50/50 split). I can tell you personally that 50% is a pretty good deal when you have a broad customer base. I've read plenty in the forums about how much time you have to devote to submitting stuff for free before you can reach Master Status. Then even when you do, you earn a penny an hour or less. Don't you think that would be discouraging to a lot of talented artists who might otherwize contribute some more amazing things? Mind you, there is no lack of talent on WC as things are now, but there should be thousands of objects and DX themes for sale, as well as the free stuff.WC is the ideal place to have a large and thriving store because that's where Stardock points folks consistently.
Which brings me to my last rant (sorry for the length): Even if there were more themes for sale, they're too hard to find on WC. They are not in the shop (as far as I can see) and the search is terrible compared to other sites. I should be able to do a search (not using Google) and find things by keyword that artists have associated with their products. And while I'm at it, the search in the forums is bad as well. I should be able to search within the DX Tutorials section of the forums (for instance) and not get everything else. This may seem a little off topic, but it is really all related to what could make DX better.
I am still very excited about what could be. Thanks for reading.