Hubby created a new WordPress theme: Henge, which I am currently using. The theme is released under a Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported" license, it has a widget-ready right sidebar, and absolutely no sponsored links. I love it!
Sponsored links are a nasty development in WordPress themes. Some theme creators are putting advertising links into their themes (usually the footer), effectively selling advertising space on your blog and mine. People using the theme unwittingly become billboards. Putting link-spam in a theme is an underhanded tactic. I don’t mind linking back to a theme creator, but I object to them trying to make money off MY site.
There have been several posts about this lately, from Matt Mullenweg, and Mark of Weblog Tools Collection, which has started noting which new theme releases are sponsored and which are clean (thank you!).