I've also been working on the start.fpo page and trying to make it fit in with the new www.fpo design.
I made a mockup  which has the same content as the current Start page, but with the redesigned header and footer. Together with Sijis I put together a working prototype . As you can see we added two RSS feeds to the page with announcements and Fedora Planet posts.
Looking back I don't think I announced any of this on the Websites or Design Team mailing lists, which wasn't smart. After all, if it's not on the list, it didn't happen. ;)
That said, I really like your mockups and how clean they look. Especially v3, with the Creative Commons icons. I think that's a much better way of showing the different licenses.
So my suggestion is to put both of these concepts together and make one really fantastic Start page. :)
Here's a few thoughts:
- We'd like to use the same footer across all the different Fedora websites, so I think we should keep that. It's big and has a lot of content, but on the other hand it's content that fits really well on a Start page. Also, we can remove the Release Notes, Join, etc links if we use that footer.
- As I said I love the CC icons as filters, but they could be a little closer to the actual search bar, so it's clear what they're used for. I think the "dropdown + button + CC logo" combo I currently have in place looks ugly, so maybe we can simply put them there?
- I'm not sure what to do about the RSS feeds. Initially I resisted against adding them, because I felt the page would go from a clean and simple Start page to a full-blown hub. On the other hand, they contain a lot of good and up-to-date information about what's happening in the community. What do you (and others who want to join in!) think, are they valuable enough to keep? Or is it a step too far?
- I think the Board has talked before about changing the content and function of start.fpo, but I can't remember what the consensus was. This is why I kept the current content and only worked on the appearance (just like you did). I think that's the best way to go for now. We can always change it in the future.