WPF Hands On Lab demonstrating how to build an Outlook clone
Some of the WPF sample applications you have seen probably don't resemble the type applications you plan on building. Some of these examples are a bit gratuitous in their use of WPF features because they are trying to show what is possible. Sometimes, after seeing their first WPF presentation, people assume they don't have a need for WPF because they don't plan on building a "glitzy" app. Many people ask me "Do I need this if I want to build a more traditional LOB app with WPF?" I believe the answer is yes. As a dev, you will never want to go back to [insert your current UI technology here] once you get comfortable with WPF. Tim Sneath shares a Hands On Lab here that I think will help convince you of the benefits of WPF as a UI technology for LOB apps. I've gone through a little over half of the lab. It shows you how to build the UI primarily using Expression Blend. Once I am done with the rest of the lab, I plan on trying to go through it again using the "Cider" designer in Visual Studio 2008. I'll share my experiences.