I just read through all of the comments. Really great brainstorming.
It seems to me like we want to achieve something like http://spoonflower.com has unintentionally achieved.
Joel sent us this link a couple of months ago. This company prints fabric that individuals create via computer graphics. It talks about Photoshop and Illustrator, but says, "since most of you are not professional computer graphics artists, you probably cannot afford to purchase Photoshop for $600 and Illustrator for $500, so we recommend you use The Gimp and Inkscape." And they supply links to tutorials for using The Gimp and Inkscape.
The result is that there are hundreds of individuals out there now designing fabric and patterns using The Gimp and Inkscape. You should go and look at the amazing amazing fabric art.
Now, Spoonflower.com is one of the best advocates for open source software on the web.
Can we use this model to do the same thing?
What do you think?