There are certainly some things that are Xtreme Plus only – like extra insertion areas, SmartMenus, custom post meta lines, and others. But also many “convenience” functions that can be duplicated with custom CSS. That, in fact, is another thing fairly unusual about Weaver Xtreme. The base, free version is really quite robust, and does let you create very interesting sites as your example shows – without requiring the Xtreme Plus plugin. Weaver Xtreme is not really as limited as many “lite” themes that are just little more than promos for paid versions.
But as you noted, it takes more work with the free version, and thus more of your time. Depending on many factors, if you want mimic features of Xtreme Plus with just Custom CSS in the free version, you don’t end up paying yourself very well as opposed to paying the license fee. It is clear that you understand this, but I don’t think a lot of people really do. One’s time is very valuable, and spending a few bucks to save a bunch of your own time is often really worthwhile in the time is saves you.
— One little note on your site – you need to set the favicon.
Thanks Weaver, you are quite correct. The reason I chose Weaver, and I go back to the original Weaver before Weaver II was that I didn’t have to learn a new theme every time my design changes. It definitely pays to buy the pro version. I can build 2-3 websites in the time it would take me to build one without the pro plugin. Like you said – Time is money!