@Ath -- thanks for those! The Code Project one looks interesting from a glance (working on something else right now -- didn't expect fast responses). I'll be checking them out very soon.
Just my two cents: skin kits are overrated and the bane of the normal user.
It means you have to relearn an interface. That it looks different from the rest of your OS. That it acts different. If you are colorblind, maybe the new colours make the interface unusable. If you're fully blind, there's a good chance your screenreader ceases working. And if you are a poweruser, there's a good chance you'll get really piffed with all the extra memory and sluggishness the skin brings along, as it is never going to be as good as what the OS offers by default.
I think that as long you make sure to use the Visual Themes support Windows offers (as opposed to the old Windows Classic look) you have made it look more than pretty enough.
Yes and no.
If you look at all high-end audio editors, they all mimic hardware because that's the standard. MP3 players do the same -- they mimic stereo systems.
So it really depends on what you're doing. You need to judge things carefully and go with what makes the most sense for the software and the target audience.
e.g. It wouldn't make much sense to do a line of business data entry form in a skinned way, unless it suited the industry.
I just want something to help expand my capabilities and the type of software I can produce quickly.