I agree with Blurrymind. It does make a difference what the default look is to a new user. If it looks shabby and amateurish then one could think the rest of the distro is similarly sub standard.
Books are judged by their cover whether we like it or not. I initially looked at Vector back when it had the clawing wallpaper. I thought it looked cool and professional.
1.A proper default scheme is a lure.
2.The promise of features and usefulness is about setting the hook.
3.Easy intuitive use is about reeling them in.
3.Support is about keeping them.
People have varying levels of interest in each of these four areas.
Number 2 is primarily the concern of those who run the Vector Linux web site.
Everybody is in the forum for number 4 and so obviously considers this very important.
Linux in general needs a lot of work on no.3. Having said that there are two forks in the road here. Try to be like Windows TM following the KDE, GNOME, UNBUNTU way, or go a more technical GENTOO build your own way.
There are of course many steps between these two extremes. I think vector is one of them. People will hold your hand in the forum but you have to learn some command line stuff. I am the type of new user who likes this (although I would like to make the learning curve a little less steep) but not every new user will. The choice of xfce4 as the only desktop environment installed for Vec6.0 is I think reflective of this middle approach.
I think the default scheme should be reflective of what vector is.
It should have a graphic background that looks professionally designed.
This indicates the technical competency of the maintainers of Vector.
The Xandros thing is a good example of a graphic that indicates stable professional reliability.
No one will keep the default background for long.
There should also be really nice wallpapers available for screen shots. The DOE explosion shot ALTHOUGH REALLY COOL AND APPROPRIATE IN DYNAMITE doesn't belong in Vec 6.0 final. I hope that doesn't offend anyone but it could unintentionally scare off new users.
A good icon set similarly should reflect technical competence. At the same time it should be bright and inviting. On another sub forum I saw reference to icons used on the live CD distro Dreamlinux.http://www.dreamlinux.com.br/english/saiba-screen.html
I love this. Of course I also love transparency and (horrors) blue.
From what Little I've read you can have transparency on xfce4 but you have to compile xfce4 yourself. I would like to see some xfce4 new tricks available on Vec6.0. Or at least some HOW TO,s.
Again a theme with this shows the technical ability of the distro to do whatever you want it to.
But what do I know.
However as a noob I can tell you screenshots do make a big difference in what you decide to try.