These are some thoughts around how our top banner navigation looks and some ways to tweak it for the same functionality, but more dynamic presentation.
Guess what, our page header isn't a whole lot different than Jive's at first glance, but there are some more subtle things at play that would likely work for us as well (see screenshots for comparison)
1- We both have the same links at the top of our page. In fact, ours is better because it's ore configurable by user and we have a persoanlized "Goto" menu which provides us with just the site links that we wanted. They do pull the search bar up higher which may or may not be negligable in terms of space. It does seem to raise the importance of the search as a primary navigation element however. Also note that they don't waste any space on the user name (you know who you are) but rather just have your own avatar (Looks like I still need to configure mine)
2- I know we have templates, but they are not as readily accessible as these are. I can also change these on the fly without so much as going into something as deep as my admin console. This applies a page layout as well as default widgets on the page, and you can create your own custom to apply to new pages.
3- If there is a way to set the image on my pages, I have not found it yet. On this Jive group page I can hit this button and select from my desktop. Changing the group name on the fly is just as easy. I don't need to go into an admin space.
4- Here is a sizable change right? We have our side navigation going down the page, and as I mentioned in SOS-2467, I wish it was a movable portlet so I could get some of that real estate back. On Jive however, they have made this a sub menu under the banner. It's specific to this page and actually kind of neutral in color and consistently the same location for all pages.
5- This is actually something I really like. A quick pulldown that allows you to adjust the background image and color just on this little banner. It's a quick way to visually make the page different than the multiple other places they're visiting.
Just some comparison thoughts, but I think you can see here, while we're loaded with functionality (as always), just has simplified some key things on their pages that effectively give it the polish that many of our clients have mentioned.