I just wanted to basically "state my case" here to all of you nifty programmer types that like to dabble in creating plugins and widgets and so on.
After a number of discussions, it's easy to see that "widgets" has a divided audience. Some people love them, others want nothing to do with them (like myself). There's a fairly even balance here with that... and while they may be great for "newbies" - there are a lot of us "old timers" who have been using wordpress since 1.2 and really just like things the way they are in terms of using plugins.
Lately we've been seeing this insurgence of "widget plugins" - that do some pretty fantastic things, however they ONLY work with widgets (which means the theme used has to be widget compatible as well).
I guess I'd like to make a request that if at all possible, when releasing a plugin that ONLY works with widgets, for you all to consider the fact that non-widget users might enjoy the same results, and if at all possible, you could release both a widget and non-widget version when you do your release.
Believe me, if I weren't so busy with all the other things I'm working on, I'd try to learn programming to a deeper level (I'm a designer, WP user, and an SEO person - don't claim to come close to having the knowledge of a REAL programmer!) so that I could create plugins left and right... but it's just not possible for me right now, and I'm sure many others feel this way as well.
It's just a thought. It would really stink if the development of widgets created a "continental divide" between people, because WP is a fantastic open source piece of art - and it should be able to be equally enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their preferences.
(Even if you personally happen to think that Monet's work sucks the bag compared to Warhol, you still have to respect it... even though it's older and less "modern". It still holds value, just like non-widgetized WP does!)
Just my $.02 - after seeing all these "widget only" plugins popping up that have no "non widget" counterparts... :)