This is a rather broad question so feel free to ask me to paraphrase differently, and I'm new to the system, so forgive my ignorance.
In fiddling around with various bp themes and design options, I've noticed many utilities seem to presume a uniform layout for the entire site. For instance, one can easily sort widgets within the default theme, but I see nonesuch options for particular pages. Thumbing through the wordpress documentation at visiting the "Pages" section on the dashboard, I note that templates can be applied to some bp instated pages like "Activity" or "Groups." Design of these pages, however, does not seem to take advantage of the CMS's tools like widgets and relies on 1) the hard-coding yourself (which is fine), but unfortunately also 2) understanding how wordpress will treat your template and how you must design you css around the influence that the overall theme is already trying to force on it. Furthermore, even editing the template for a page like "Members" doesn't give you such specific control as to, say, change the layout of how member profiles appear, separate of the bp member page itself.
So to the question, is there an effective way to design layouts and content for pages individually that takes advantage of the tools the CMS offers (i.e. the various widgets)? Sure the hard-coding can be done, but if I'm going to have to hard-code 90% of my page layout in CSS anyway, I'm not convinced that bp is really offering me much other than just the database logic for a social networking styled-site, and it almost seems to be hindering me from using web devo WYSIWYG programs to speed up working from scratch.