I make it a point to have a pretty good working knowledge of the items because I absolutely refuse to ask people what items they're wearing if an equipped list is hidden. You hide it, I'm not asking you directly. End of story. So I tend to keep an eye on every new items coming in so I know its name and poses for future reference/use.
I don't copy other peoples' avatars or even use them as inspiration because... well.. 99% of the avatars I see are nothing I'd ever use myself. I like the post-apocalyptic look. And don't like leg mods. That eliminates a good chunk of the Gaian userbase for me.
I'm familiar with a pretty large chunk of the items here on Gaia and if I don't know it I head to tektek. I don't really sit and analyze people's avatars either to see if I can guess all the items, if I happen to see a pose that I like I'll either know what its from or find out. No I don't try and mimic their avatar with a few changes either.
Only ALL THE TIME! Although, there are the few people who do actually stump me a bit. That's where I ask them what they used, and if there's one item that catches my interest then I'll try to do something with that one item!
I used to, when there were a lot less items. Now, it's usually the overall theme of an avatar that I really like, and I'll go in tektek and create something with the same feeling. The avatar is never a copy, but it retains the theme.
I really haven't been able to name the majority if items since the beginnings of the Cash Shop in '07-'08. There are now far too many items out there for me to really be able to keep track (or want to) at this point. New items are pumped out so fast!
If I must know what an items is, I either search through TekTek or simply ask the person wearing it what the item is. Everyone I've asked has been very kind and helpful, so I see no shame in doing this when an equipped list is hidden.
I haven't "copied" an outfit since I was a wee noob back in '04, when there weren't very many (matching) items to go around. When I joined 99.9% of the fasion concious female-based Gaians were basically wearing Gaia Tshirt+Grass Skirt+Buck Teeth or Pimpin' Hat+Pimpin' Cane+Baby Seal Slippers+Complex Shirt. Naturally, I had to look just as good too. xD
I'm usually pretty good at naming items, and if I can't name it I try to search for it on the RIG/etc list I think it came from or by searching keywords on the market. I'd only do this if the user is wearing an item that I think would compliment an outfit idea of mine. I'd never copy someone's avatar though, because I consider myself to be more creative than that, and I'd hate wearing the same thing as someone else.
Long story short, yes I pay attention to items and hidden equipped lists can't stop me.
I'm good at naming items, and I search up those that are unfamiliar to me either in the RIG list or in the Marketplace--and I do the same using Tektek. However, I do not copy someone else's avatar, since it is a wrong thing to do and I am quite picky with what items I prefer for my own avatar.
Once upon a time I could. Now I need to use tektek to try and ID things when I get stuck. Theres at least 3 items I'm trying to workout and I'm sure someone will wear them with an opened equip list soon. I can wait.