So, if one was to start from scratch, would you recommend just creating a new folder under /themes with a new name - copy in the default theme's css and php files, and then build up from there?
Back to my initial question: I had asked about building upon a Theme closer to my tastes, because I assumed that was what the Open Source movement was all about - not reinventing the wheel, but adding onto existing code contributed by past individuals.
Don't individuals and even companies who use Open Source code usually fine tune it to their own needs - put their own company logos, colors, features into it to make it relevant to their own unique needs?
Seems to me if someone puts an Open Source Theme out there for the public to use at will, they would essentially expect it to transform a bit according to the one using it. But I can certainly understand the importance of crediting the original designer at the bottom of the site.
I'll probably just reinvent the wheel to make certain I'm not stepping on anyone's toes or breaking protocol, but I guess I'm a bit surprised by the protocol.