I just skimmed through that thread. I was wondering why there aren't Moodle template clubs. We are members of 4 joomla theme/extension clubs right now and it's nice to have that to pull from. I usually start with a stock theme and hack away at it...but even the most basic joomla templates are flexible because of the joomla framework. Add something like Gantry to it and it's even more so. Anyway, I'm rambling now. We're moving TO moodle from a hosted system (or no system at all), so we're happy so far, even WITH the limitations.
Comparisons and advocacy
Moodle 2.0 vs EDU 2.0
I am an old joomla template club member too and we were discussing about different template and grid systems in theme forums a couple of years ago (2008-2010) very intensively. I was also testing Gantry inside "early versions of moodle 2.0" and the main problem was that moodle has a built-in YUI library that you can't "switch off" - and Gantry is using Mootools that had and most likely still has conflicts with YUI. So it was/is possible to create a separate "theme css admin page" (outside moodle) to create settings for Gantry based themes and use these settings as a part of Moodle Themes but it was not possible to use Gantry itself as a part of moodle themes. After my testing period I even sent email to Andy Miller (CEO/Founder/Head Kahuna of RocketTheme Team - creator of Gantry) and asked if they were interested in adding a Moodle Club to http://www.rockettheme.com/ but obviously Gantry development for Joomla and WordPress was taking most of their resources and even if RocketTheme has currently also a phpBB3, Magento and Drupal Template Club (sunsetting this year) their main interest was/is to create great looking Joomla and WordPress themes for growing markets. If you compare for example features of http://www.rockettheme.com/joomla-templates/cerulean to current core themes of moodle we are now near the same situation that RocketTheme templates were before they implemented Gantry...
Basicly all moodle themes can be set to use layouts like http://demo.rockettheme.com/joomla25/cerulean/features/module-positions and you can create responsive layouts for moodle themes with lots of css and hard work and studying how different parts of moodle are using different css classes and ids - or add new theme settings - it may just take months/years to make moodle work like http://demo.rockettheme.com/joomla25/cerulean/
Yes, of course I can try to help there and I will - Amy, Mary, Danny, David, You and other people in theme forum have collected many good ideas to make moodle themes better. My comment was just a simple explanation why templating frameworks like Gantry and Warp can't be used directly with moodle.
Things like Bootstrap were not originally meant to be used on top of YUI - to make Bootstrap as fast and reliable as possible you should use it without YUI reset-base-moodle base-custom theme css overwriting chains. YUI css files have the contextual version, CSS Reset's rules should be applied to nodes that descend from a node with a class value of .yui3-cssreset only - not everywhere:
I can't even tell in which yui widgets yui reset is actually needed and why default styles of HTML elements need reset - we have dropped support for IE6 a long time ago and other (modern) browsers render css almost equally. It's a pain to overwrite hundreds of css rules just to notice that it breaks again in the 4th list element - ask Mary about different YUI reset css bugs and she might see red
Most common joomla template frameworks use either jQuery or Mootools - or both - for example Warp that Troy mentioned is using jQuery and Mootools for changing settings in administration and for creating different vivid effects and widgets on pages - see more details from pages like http://www.yootheme.com/themes/warp-framework or http://www.yootheme.com/demo/joomla/drive . And surely Yui widgets could be used as well if somebody just had the time and knowledge to create from a scrach a similar templating framework with YUI3.
The only "exception" in moodle 2, mymoodle theme, is using mobile jquery on top of yui and it was accepted to core only because YUI had no mobile options available.
Moodle 2 themes had many major improvements compared to moodle 1.X themes, for example output renderes, configurable settings, cache and free selection of layouts Special Thanks to You, Tim, and Petr & Sam. The unfinished parts can be added to moodle 3, right?