1. Should I steer clear of the RC version until it is released? If so which version should I go for?
The RC2a version of osCommerce is no more than osCommerce MS2 with a few bugs fixed and some security updates. I would go with RC2a as I believe it’s stable enough for a live shop…
2. Are there template clubs like rockettheme with professional looking templates?
I don’t know of any template “clubs”, but there are a handful of people selling templates and a handful of developers who are making bespoke oscommerce sites. I myself run an osCommerce Templates site, and I also have a free RC2 template right here…
3.How long does it usually take to get OSC up and running?
If you are talking of just getting it up and running “straight out of the box” it should take no more than 5 or 10 minutes! Then of course, you’ll need to add on any extras that you need (such as contributions like SEO Urls, Discount Vouchers etc)…and then you’ll need to implement a design.
And then of course, you need to load the products…
I suppose the average site woner would probably spend a month doing all that?
4. DO you think Joomla/Vitruemart is a viable option considering I already know joomla?
That I cannot answer as I have no experience with Joomla or the Virtuemart addon.
5. If you think OSC would be the best option, how would you go about learning OSC if you were a newbie to it?
I’d install osCommerce and have a play with the codebase. I’d buy myself an ebook to get a good head start on 99% of all other osCommerce users ( ebooks sites: www.oscbooks.com & www.oscommercemanuals.com ) and I’d try my best to learn the in’s and out’s to see if osC is suitable…
Nicole, I think that osCommerce is very suitable for most store owners. It has it’s problems, just like any other cart, but the great thing is that the codebase is open so that you can change it up to suit your needs, and there are lots of people ready to help you out…
Does that help at all?
ps, you can see some great examples of osCommerce sites at the Hot 100 list – so you can see that osCommerce is supremely flexible with the ability to do almost anything. In fact, I’d say that osC is only limited by one’s own imagination and skillset!