It takes me a long time to design a website and be satisfied with it. So long that I rarely do it anymore. There are so many apt designers out there who distribute free and purchasable templates at more than reasonable prices, it seems almost ludicrous to spend the time to make one myself.
Of Course you lose the originality of your site and run the risk of looking like someone else’s site, but I’d rather have a tight design than one that I haven’t gotten around to making it really great.
With programming and development you can cut corners and make it work and still get the same result, but with design you just can’t do that. If you don’t design thoroughly it will be noticed and could negatively impact your readership and visitors.
I’ve been going over themes at YOOThemese and Rockethemes lately and I’m extremely impressed with the level of design that I’m seeing. To design something similar would take a week solid without breaks in my world, and then you have all the value added extensions and special styles…
It makes a great case for using templates.