Theme Framework is very popular in the WordPress community, there are almost countless Framework out there you can choose to use, from the free one like Hybrid, Thematic, Whiteboard and WP Startbox until the famous and relatively expensive theme like Thesis and Genesis by StudioPress (affiliate).
The Good of WordPress Theme Framework
Theme Framework offer a solid standard code to back up your blog, ensuring page elements and theme feature always available on every site built on it. Some theme like what I currently using, hybrid and the later said Thesis and StudioPress also providing strong SEO optimization.
For designer they are a perfect buddy to make their design process, because what they need to modify is the appearance of the site. This mostly done by editing the stylesheet of the theme. You don’t even need to touch any PHP code to make the design become the same as your Photoshop mock up, unless you want to change the HTML markup.
The Bad of WordPress Theme Framework
Bloat of code. That problem often found on any WordPress theme Framework. Theme Framework is made to be used on a wide range of site with a very wide need too. So they tend to shot all the ball. They are armed with lot of option, sometimes we don’t even need them.
WordPress Theme Framework also won’t feel right for a new blogger. Because they will just looks as a plain theme. There is no special looks and feeling about the design, because they tend to be extended using child theme or skin if you use thesis.
My blogging here is also seems stagnant since September, that also caused by theme framework issue. I am locked up because the design of this blog. I can just run the blog with any other theme because I will lost the post series I use before without plugin. And I don’t know whether the plugin just detect the previous series or not.
So, This is My View about WordPress Theme Framework
I like theme framework, the concept is solidly undeniable, tough it can troubling me 😆 I myself using starkes on my other blog to start the design. But I ever think too that the lack of HTML markup to contain the PHP function is sometimes feels terrifying too 😛
That was being said, you can use any theme framework you pleased, if you don’t know any web design and markup language but deadly want the feature you can hire a designer like Alex Mangini or Rafal Tomal.
You can also use a fully designed free WordPress theme and happily using it for years. All option is yours. Every one have their own right to do about their site.