Thanks for all your feedback. To comment some responses-
1) I can change things to reflect "GIMP" instead of "Gimp".
2) "Free" is a difficult concept for mainstream users. For those in this community the difference is obvious because it's at the core of who you are as an open-source advocate.. To a 19 year old kid that frequents mtv.com
instead of Slashdot, diving into the true definition of "Free" is going to confuse the hell out of them. I agree that the design should reference that it's Free Software, but I'd rather error on the side of mainstream users than the pros in this community.
3) I can shy away from using references to "play/playing".
4) There's a fine-line between staging this as a "high-end application" and "for pros".
While I would agree that GIMP is indeed a high-end application, it's not an application used by "pros". To keep GIMP's marketing messages authentic, it'd be best to explain that GIMP is absolutely top-notch software, but targeted for an intermediate, mid-level user who wants to make kick-ass photos/icons/whatever.
5) If the community votes to make titles and/or taglines all caps, so be it. I personally find it obnoxious and it's generally considered a bad practice however in both the professional design and usability communities.
6) Separating "Screenshots" from "Features" was deliberate, in that the flow for each is separate. "Seeing what it can do" and "seeing what it looks like" is very similar, but different beasts.. This is also the same for putting "GIMP Dev" into "Get Involved". It's the classic "All poodles are dogs, but not all dogs are poodles"
7) Search bars aren't necessary on a marketing sites. That said, when the user gets into bug reporting/wikis/etc, that should definitely be available.
8) Having multiple Download buttons at different lengths of the site statistically creates more engagement. Lots of usability studies have been done to prove this.
9) The grid I'm using is a bit floaty and most of the body elements aren't strictly on it. I agree that it's sloppy. I'll tighten that up. Very good catch.
10) I'd be happy to add another marketing call-out for "web design". If you could send me a screenshot you'd like me to add-in with any title/tagline copy, I'll get that added for you. Another great idea.
11) The call-outs in the middle bar was based on the needs of two basic personas- those who don't know anything
about GIMP, and those that already have it and are some level of "power user". Of the options available, I thought this was the most efficient combination to keep from alienating the other demographic.
12) Regarding the lack of news on the front-page, news doesn't do anything to positively effect conversion of new users. Many studies actually show that it has a negative impact because it references things the new user isn't familiar with and aids as a distraction to their conversion. This means the only people that benefit are people who are already using GIMP and want updates; however those people are already users, and therefore the concern of conversion for this demographic isn't valid. People who want news will find it easily through different areas in the navigation. It's not necessary on page-load.
13) Good call on the social media. I'll add links to
Google+ and Facebook with the Twitter link in the Footer and call them out more prominently.
Hope that addresses some of the concerns you had. Let me make some of these revisions and I'll throw up an new version for critique. Thanks sir!