No theme needs to have 20+ required/recommended plugins in TGM for it to function
agreed, plugins should be an addition to a theme not a requirement … if you are requiring plugins then you are doing something wrong.
Actually that’s not that black and white. for example we had some things optional. Then client saw that he doest not have a certain option, because if he did not install the plugin he did not get that options (simply sad) and we got a support ticket and we started to get them often (People just did not read documentation), hence we made a decision to make them a must! But in most cases not installing certain plugins just will not give you a feature.
Hmm, they should be recommended, not required
Just a change, solve the problem
From a buyers perspective I would install all the plugins regardless if they are required or recommend because I just don’t want to miss anything. I’m sure a lot of buyers also do this.
Reminds me of the lyrics to an Aerosmith song.
as for as all custom post types are plugin territory we have to create plugin orientated themes to avoid theme lock
Better to require/recommend 20 plugins than let the theme get bloated by adding 20 more features. Making a plugin required should be avoided as much as possible but I do not see why you cannot recommend plugins as long as author is willing to ensure compatibility and users feel the need. They can be deactivated when not needed which is not possible if functionality is part of a theme.