Re: Future of BP
@gaz: Yes, with the default theme you get a main navigation bar that focuses on BuddyPress features (Members, Groups, Forums). So in that sense, BuddyPress “takes over”. But there’s also the “Blog” link which links to your WPMU main blog. WPMU is nothing more than Posts and Pages. So it’s all still there.
But yes, the main navigation is BuddyPress-focused when using the default theme. However, that is easily changed. Simply create a child theme with a custom header.php file. Your navigation could then be… Blog, About, Products, Contact, Customer Care… whatever you wish. Perhaps those BuddyPress links (Members, Groups, Forums) would be either in a separate navigation bar (like the bottom bar on Facebook) or maybe subsections of a “Community” menu. Or what have you. It’s all very do-able.
Unfortunately… you are also correct that there are very few custom themes right now. And no purpose-specific themes. BuddyPress is too new. So your choices are to either a) roll up your sleeves and be prepared to do a ton of learning and research or b) hire someone.
And Site Architecture is critical of course. It seems like you have a good idea of what you want to do but you’ve started out by taking a default BuddyPress install and working backwards from there. A good sanity check (if you haven’t already done so) is to sit down and sketch out exactly what you want… what sections… what navigation bars… what functionality… etc. Draw it all out (again, if you haven’t already). Then work from there.
I think you’ve made the right choice. It’ll just require some work. WordPress and BuddyPress are so much more flexible and better supported than the other open source alternatives. It’s worth the effort.