Marty, I get "inspiration" from other people's sites all the time. There's nothing wrong with that. It's much the same way that great artists of different periods inevitably "borrow" from each other. There are a few "trailblazers" that break through the static once in a while and usher in a new wave of creativity but, for the most part, we are all just taking the work of people before us, putting our "spin" on it and re-issuing it as something new.
I get tons of inspiration from various web design portfolio sites (you can IM me for some titles) and also get tons of code from just simply viewing someone else's source code. Your customer (if that's who you're designing for) doesn't want you to "reinvent the wheel", that's not what they're paying you for. They're paying you for a great-looking website that does exactly what they want. If you get that idea from someone else (as long as you're not copying the design of their site and pasting it to yours...), there's no crime in that.