Well this is interesting. The team behind DevPress are planning to launch a plugin/theme review service. During the first phase of the launch, efforts will focus on theme reviews only. Justin Tadlock mentions that one of the driving factors behind the decision to launch the service is to fill the voids that exist with the theme repository review process.
Another driving factor behind this decision is that WordPress.org has an official theme review system, but it only applies to people who upload their themes to the repository. There’s no place for freelancers, non-repository hosted theme authors, and plugin developers to get an experienced team of professionals to look over their code.
So far, it looks like the process will involve a ticketing system where the theme author will have direct contact with the DevPress team during the review process. These reviews will not be free but will come with a cost. Currently, the price has been undetermined and they are currently reviewing feedback from commenters on what they think the price should be.
So one of the sticking points regarding this service is whether or not the theme reviews will carry any weight. DevPress is currently made up of Ptah Dunbar, Justin Tadlock and Tung Do all of whom are exceptional developers. If a plugin or theme is reviewed by Mark Jaquith as a paid audit, people sit up and take notice because of Mark’s reputation when it comes to WordPress security. I’m not sure if the same level of attention will be given to themes or plugins reviewed by the DevPress team although I don’t see why not, considering all three individual backgrounds. While I don’t have any information as to how much Mark charges for his time, something tells me that whatever price the DevPress team decides on will probably be under it.
That’s the end user side of the equation. For the developer, this could be a good deal considering who will be doing the reviewing. As Justin mentions, the more eyes that review your code, the better. Not just any eyes though. Experienced, talented developers that have proven their worth in the WordPress community that are fully concentrating on your code.
In my opinion, the market is definitely there for the taking with a service like this. But not just anyone can pull this off. Anyone could launch a review service but it’s the people behind it which make the difference. If anyone were going to pull this off successfully, I’d be willing to put money on the DevPress team.
Definitely read through the comments that have been published already as they provide food for thought.