I just started with WPMU and am aggressively moving to create a multi-site network with a look and feel similar to EduBlog and CampusPress - but of course with a completely different business model. Each user site will have a blog, forum, chat, and upsell options for other features like fundraising, events, classifieds, and ad sharing.
Having been through the process of mashing up sites with an assortment of addons from multiple sources, I want to start here by using as many WPMU-provided and supported tools as possible. I want to be able to ask WPMU and you folks here about anything in this environment and have a reasonable expectation that we'll find solutions with as little time as possible wasted for all of us. This minimizes finger pointing and head scratching with no one quite knows what I have installed or how it might interact with something else.
With that, of the few current themes that are offered by WPMU, I'm wondering which might be "the best" to start with a site that could end up using a large number of WPMU plugins. I'd like to avoid "this plugin doesn't work well with that theme", etc, especially when I do load the occasional plugin for critical functionality not supplied by WPMU.
Having looked through Scribe, Panino, etc, this is more bent toward the Parrot L&F and samples. Each site in the network will have some latitude for modifying CSS for colors, fonts, images, etc, but as long as they don't all start to look alike I'm OK with having a single theme/framework network-wide.
If there were still an Edublog theme offered, I'd probably go for that, but that and many others are now "legacy". I'm concerned about how often that happens and how painful the transition might be to each new theme. I'm not sure if the current mantra is that any Upfront theme is expected to be highly forward-mobile or if they are all mostly interchangeable.
Sincere thanks for your time and feedback on this very important factor of this new venture.