rogerd - 4:22 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)
One other thought occurs to me. If I understand the project, you have a design in image form that you want translated into a fully functional Wordpress theme.
If that's correct, you should think about whether you want it to be a standalone theme, or run on a theme framework like Thesis or Genesis. The frameworks will let you control a lot more with options in a control panel, and will do things like basic SEO that might otherwise require a plugin. Minimizing the use of plugins is generally a good thing, as they can slow performance or even conflict with each other.