cPro2 was always going to be a bit more restricted for the skinner maybe but I think there is still enough room for a skinner to manipilate the UI enough to create some very cool skins. I'm thinking of the ClassicPro.xml file that now includes more power. Since the infoseek area is one of the most important make or brake parts of the skin you can move the text you see there around if you need to or change the size or style off coarse. Further more the seeker don't have to overlay the complete infoseek area. I did a quick mock up in the sc forum of a possible cpro2 bento skin that can maybe demonstrate this:
Secondly cpro2 isn't suppose to be a replacement for cpro1 skins. We just experimented with a new layout that I think is very easy to work with especially since I like the fact that I can easily grab the seeker and the skin also resize to very small sizes now.
While I was busy with the new version I split the new layout side and the sui section side of the code that wasn't possible to do in cpro1 skins. This will probably be more useful for experience skinners like you that really like to do allot of modifications to the original cpro1 layout. There might someday be more cpro2 xui skins than plain cpro2 skins :P (I'll also try to demonstrate how easy it is with my first cpro2 xui skin)
Now since this is still in beta there is probably still a few bugs in the new cpro2 xui object but I'm currently building my own skin to testdrive the whole progress. With your feedback we'll also be able to "iron" the bugs out
As for the status buttons. This was done to save a few resources and to save the skinner some trouble in doing the same buttons twice.
Are you suggesting that the main area, bottom drawer, side mini area and side playlist each have their own statusbar + button gfx? Or just main, drawer+mini and playlist?
If you want you can maybe send me a screenshot of the skin like it is atm and then one where you changed the skin in photoshop to illustrate what you want to achieve at the end. Maybe I can then look at it and see what the best way will be to tackle this.
PS about objects id's:
I know some objects don't have id's. I only added id's normally if there was a script that worked with that object. Also in cpro2 more of the objects are placed dynamicly (mostly due to the fact that the frame_player.png can have any height).
If you want you can change the source code in the xml files to add id's to objects you would like to access. I'll then include your changes in the next build? But hopefully after your illustration above there will be a easier way to do things since another objective of cpro2 was also to not require skinners to do so much mods to achieve small things like a shadow or different images for a button light (for colortheme purposes).