Very cool stuff… MSFT released 20 WSS templates for free. To me the idea behind these templates is to provide more role-based templates to ease the creation and personalization of sites. Basically here is a template already prepped for a certain theme or role. For example there are templates for employee activities, recruiting center, public relations, project management, competitive intelligence, and so on.
The templates have canned lists and libraries already setup based off what they thought would be useful for that particular topic. Here is the rub, it is all still in that boring WSS design. If you have edited look and feel files that effect your entire SharePoint environment, you are probably in the clear. You can use the template and your branding should come through. If you have edited your SharePoint site through modifying specific web pages only, you may have to go through that process again to apply to same style and design changes to the new template. Or you could create a test site using the template, check out their ideas, and pattern your site after it by recreating lists and libraries (hey you could save those lists and libraries out as templates for a quicker recreation).
Cheers to Microsoft for taking initiative to provide some free templates- I think more than anything this helps show users how WSS can be utilized in your situation. Seeing ideas in action is a great way to realize the potential of a product.
Update: In each template executable that you download from MSFT, is a basic and custom site template. The custom template will have a customized look and feel.