Gareth, I appreciate your comments. Yes, we seem to have two things going on here, which I guess I started.
1) Moodle is ugly. My position was that it isn't, and it doesn't take much to modify a theme to get it looking the way you want. Your point about many many other themes being available is a good one. My thought was since Moodle 2.?? removed many of the built in choices, why not first try the included themes? This is why I settled upon MORE. But I really do appreciate all of the work the folks do to contribute themes. (I thought you wanted a break several years ago, Gareth.) And so if anything, Moodle offers many more choices than any of the other LMSs. Yes, it takes some time and some digging to settle upon a theme.
2) Updating. I don't do GIT because it seems too automatic. I like to upgrade my moodle slowly, step by step. So I am still uncomfortable with GIT. But I can be persuaded. In the manual approach to updating moodle, I always thought that it was not advised to copy the updated moodle on top of the old, as I think Colin is suggesting. I have always thought it was better to start with the updated original moodle files, add your add-ins, move config.php, and then do the upgrade. Maybe I have a misconception, or things have changed. This is one reason I do not like to tweak code (like I once did with Collapsed Topics, for example, before you gave it everything than anyone would ever need, thank you.) Trying to keep track of tweaked code can drive one crazy. But if someone is a code-tweaker, and if GIT can keep track of all of this (I would have to see it to believe it), then great, update using GIT.
Well, getting back to tying these together. There are many ways to make Moodle look the way you want it to (i.e., better). Make sure that you understand how to upgrade your moodle, keeping any appearance modifications intact. Practice once or twice with upgrading.