Maybe my comment would not be welcome but I can read between the lines that the dev team should (somehow) change the way that the themes are made to make easier for users to create them.
There are 679.000 links acording to Google -link: http://coppermine-gallery.net-
(more than 99% are galleries) poiting to the Coppermine site, so there are a lot
Why didn't they get into the contest? I read somewhere that they don't like the way that the themes are created in CPG. If someone could improve the theme creation part I think would be diferent. (Maybe for the next version.. Yes, I know, many years ahead..).
**---One of the tools already added is the little box showing 'news' in the Admin panel. That's great for this type of situation when you need to announce things, sadly, 1.4 doesn't have it. --**