Having used WordPress heavily in the past, i still found myself spending hours exploring different themes, both free and premium paid ones. I finally settled for this current theme as I was impressed with the features and ability to change many aspects of the design. Being an experienced designer, I spent a long time changing settings and going back & forth checking what the live blog would look like.
I have used programmers before to virtually design a theme from scratch based on my design in Photoshop, but I have to say the wide range of decent themes available today is impressive to say the least. Arguably one might say they don’t want the “theme designed by joe blogs” at the bottom of the page but usually if you have enough decent content, no one will really care!
I’m not saying don’t pay someone to design you a blog as the time it took me to get this one looking ok would justify some money well spent. I’m not saying I’m the best in the world at this but I think you have to have an eye for a decent theme that aligns with the type of content you may publish.