The problem is that most of themes are a pain to use, and no one tells you all the hoops and hacks that went into creating the demo site. Ashford is different. Out of the box its plain, but packed with premium features. This site eats its own dogfood. As far as I can tell, few theme sites use the code they are offering themselves. If you see it on this site, it is in the code (granted this site is using the Pro version).
Writing for Insider Web Tips, Mike says of Ashford:
This great theme by Tim Bednar has a completely different feel. Not only can you blog with it, you can create really attractive Web sites of any kind with it. While you can create a really sharp blog with this theme, it goes beyond mere blogging to offer a complete Web site publishing platform. Tim’s done a great job with this theme, and continues to update it. I’ve worked with it extensively, and gotten deep into the code, so I can really recommend this theme from personal experience.
It is always nice to hear that the substance of Ashford is a good experience. If you tried Ashford and like it, you really need to check out the new Pro version. Just to make things interesting, Ashford will start offering Pro child themes starting at the end of the week.