In Silverlight and WPF you can do amazing things with the controls. You can make controls take different looking shapes. Scott Guthrie has an excellent blog Silverlight Tutorial Part 7: Using Control Templates to Customize a Control's Look and Feel describing how this is done. This is one of the controls he shows. A calendar inside a button!
blah!bLaH!BLOG!! (funny name!) has couple of blogs
- WPF: A ControlTemplate for an Analog Clock
- WPF: The ItemsPanelTemplate - controlling how ListBox/ComboBox etc. render their children,
The second one shows how to create an international clock which looks like this. Amazing!
Jit Ghosh has an excellent blog explaining how to build custom controls.
Jit also mentioned the XAMLPAD editor, which I researched and tracked to Lester’s WPF blog