This is my first time using WordPress so naturally I have a few questions about building/laying out my site. I have been building web sites for over 7 years now and would consider myself an expert in XHTML & CSS. When working with WordPress do I have to design my site using a "Theme" or a "Template"? I'm not looking to have a typical WordPress Blog layout and those methods seem very cookie cutter to me. Maybe I just haven't researched them enough yet but at first glance that's how they appear to me.
Can anyone give me any pointers on building a site that doesn't use Themes or Templates? Below is a list of sites that use WordPress that I really like and similar to stuff I'm interested in building.