Comment on WordPress SEO Theme Developer by Mark.
Remember Aristotle’s classic modes of persuasion were ethos, pathos and logos. I think Pathos is the most powerful for most people.
Another example of a Pottery Barn type website might be florida-golf.org. As soon as you land on the page you want to explore it.
I do not know if it is the best website. But I think if people are thinking of a website for themselves they would be proud of a website that was so visual. They would buy that theme, show their friends.
Just some ideas. I am someone that likes more textual websites, however, new guys buying themes and just learning about the web and empire building I think are drawn to visual themes. This is know your target market.
I get this when I am on elance. Guys always say say I want a website that looks like this (insert any graphically oriented website). I show them bloggy or text based websites with good SEO and they are not as impressed.
So based on my experiences on elance, visual really appeal to new guys. That is what sells.