Yea, so apparently I'm pretty terrible at polishing. I've finally got SAGE back up and running, after I broke it trying to polish some things up, and it honestly feels less polished to me than it did before.
I did manage to get a few things polished up though. As I said in my last post, the main reason for the fiddling was the fact that each screen had to draw the cursor which means at some points it was being drawn multiple times. This is now resolved as the new system draws the cursor on top of everything else. This also allowed me to implement cursors into the theme system as well as a 'cursor data' system that allows me to attach a value to a cursor. For example, when you click on an item it, the cursor theme is overridden with the item's sprite as the image and the item itself is set as the cursor's data.
The biggest issue I'm noticing so far is mainly due to mouse-enter/mouse-exit issues. The inventory display and caption label linking is a good example; I'm directing all input to the inventory display when the cursor enters that so that the character doesn't move and such, but this means that the inventory slots only receive mouse-exit events when moving from slot to slot. This results in unstable caption text when hovering over an item (sometimes it doesn't display, sometimes it doesn't change properly, etc.) I've thought about making the inventory display itself larger, but that will eat up game area.
 Problem solved: if the mouse is in the inventory display, all input is directed to it. If it is not, the inventory display still receives input, but it won't actually do anything beyond mouse-exit events because all input tests against the mouse position. This is why I type my posts while I'm working. It helps me to keep track of what I've actually done and it also helps me to think things through. [/edit]
This is another feature I put in from the beginning, but it wasn't really being utilized. You could have multiples of items before, but there was no indication (which really made it seem broken.) So, I updated the system to display how many of an item you have if you have more than one:
Besides that, I haven't done much else over the last few days as I've been sick and sleeping most of the time. Hopefully this coming week will prove more productive!
I'm still working on nailing down the art style and playing around with a few different styles. Here's a new one:
I'm not the biggest fan; it has its place and it looks decent enough, but I'm thinking more of an art style similar to Curse of Monkey Island (something cartoon-ish, preferably hand drawn.)