For client work I always work on a custom website design and layout and then transform that into WordPress template for the client’s website. For my personal sites I will admit that I generally rely on the work of others to get something up quickly and have even resorted to purchasing some memberships to theme sites and outright purchased themes. It is the same adage of a chef that does not cook at home, you do it all day as work so the last thing you want to do is do it at home.
Recently I decided to take the easy way out on a couple of personal sites by purchasing a few themes for them. The main reason that I purchased these themes is that out of the box they seemed to do exactly what I wanted and even seemed to be a step up from what I usually produce myself. Unfortunately with both of these themes I spent more time fixing theme to run properly then I would have if I would have built them from scratch myself. In both cases I could tell that the people building them while excellent Web Designers were not that well versed with WordPress.
I supposed this is just a testament to the fact that the easy way out is not always the best way to go.
Back to Photoshop & Dreamweaver I go to make my own themes!