I never seen any one purchasing web template packages… But i still can see many Joomla Templates, Word Press templates sold from club sites like Joomlart, Rocket Theme, Yoo Themes. And personally in my company, few clients opted to go for their e-commerce site with Template Monster’s.
I’ve been suspicious of the business around it although I’ve started seeing different kinds of templates intended for different users. There are those who create PSDs for others to program the XHTML (I consider that a kind of template). As a designer I’ve seen some templates that I think would be easy to customize to one’s needs. However I would prefer not to use one. None the less I’m intrigued and surprised by the business of templates.
Most people wouldn’t know a template if it hit them in the face. It’s all about how the developer positions themselves (i.e. the best and preferrably the only solution) and the level they can sell in a bubble (i.e. no competition).
It’s a market that bounces around a lot. My company provides custom design, but if a client is trying to save a lot of money I might use a template, they can be a pain to deal with though if the client wants lots of modifications.
I question why some designers charge prices like only $25 for a template. I currently theme and set up wordpress accounts for clients. The theming part I consider a large deal. I’ve just seen some decent template that shouldn’t be so cheap? At least I think so. Anyhow, I’m considering creating templates but I’m not sure if it’s the worth the trouble. Seems competitive.