With regards to skinning/theming Windows; I keep on suggesting it to myself and others. I just haven't done much on that except some Curtains themes that is half done. I'd have to use Windows full time for it to make sense to make themes for it as just making it in a VM and not enjoying me and other people's themes makes no sense.
And since Curtains isn't for Windows 11 yet, then there's only the behemoth that is Windowblinds which gives me the heeby jeebies (sp?)
I understand your unhappiness with the franchises and their overly zealous, financially driven guarding of their merchandising (ubermerchandising) of their team stuff.
Curtains can't work with W11, and won't. More's the shame, because it was designed to bring more people into skinning. Thank MS for that, too.
I can also well understand your hesitancy in taking on Windowblinds skinning. I wish we had a club in which all the skinners and would be skinners could get together to share the "tricks of the trade", as it were, maybe building skins together, but Forums and posting will have to do in the meantime, I guess.