In the end, op111′s demetris chose to apply his own styling to Scott Wallick‘s excellent Sandbox theme. I came close to doing the same thing when I went looking for a snazzy ‘default’-kinda theme for Utopian.net’s use – and for my own blog at the Labs. I decided to adopt and update Kenny/Jeffrey‘s ScribbishWP, but since I started changing and departing from both ScribbishWP (in code) and Scribbish itself (in style), the plaintxt.org themes like Sandbox and blog.txt have inspired choices for Simplish. We even copy their code: the two basic hCard producer functions used in Simplish 2.0 are derived from blog.txt source (closely enough that Scott’s copyright has joined the NOTICE.)
op111′s list has some references to the many uses folks make of the Sandbox plus some chameleon CSS – Sandbox comes out of the box looking like 1995, but can be made into anything you can tweak into and copy out of Firebug. My favorite is still Sandbox co-creator Andy Skelton’s re-implementation of WordPress’s default/kubrick theme atop Sandbox.