Redesigned by wombats...
So, I've been building sites and developing modules for Drupal since 4.6, but until this year I'd never really ventured into theming. My first go at it was a very pleasant experience when I rebuilt BiblicalTraining.org in Drupal to their design using the Zen starter theme. I was blown away by how much work the maintainers did to pack Zen full of features and make it accessible for newbies like myself. It was so simple I learned all I needed to know about Zen during the NCAA championship game (yay, multitasking!) and had a working theme for the site the next day.
Starter themes seem to be a dime a dozen, and I haven't (and won't) come close to checking them all out. This is due largely to my affinity for module development but also to a lack of opportunities to practice my new skills. I've heard plenty of good things about 960gs, and I'm looking forward to the release of Top Notch Theme's Fusion (especially as part of Acquia Prosper).
My next experience turned out to be with the Genesis starter theme. On a whim, I downloaded the ported Compositio subtheme from 3rdWorld to check it out for use on By Wombats. Once again, I was impressed by the features and attention to detail in the theme, and I'm digging the subtheme system (even if I don't fully grok it). I was able to personalize Compositio and rebuild the site in Drupal 6 in a few hours. I also remembered this time to put my CSS tweaks into a custom .css file specified in the theme's .info file. Very handy.
The end result is a relaunched By Wombats. Until about an hour ago, the site was still running Drupal 5. Cobbler's children, right? I spent most of the day migrating content, finishing the build, and moving elements 1 pixel at a time to get them just right. A little while ago, I switched the nameservers for the domain to point to my new host and played Final Fantasy IV while waiting for the changes to propagate. I managed to beat the Octomamm and Antlion, and after reviving Rosa I happily discovered the new site was live. Woohoo!