I borrowed heavily from Hackathon-starter and Drywall. The reason is third party OAUTH authentication is painful. Passportjs helps tremendously but there are not many good examples of how to use it. Both of these frameworks really show how it's done. Both are actively maintained and are really great starting points. I recommend either of them highly. Of the two, Drywall is more sophisticated. It has an extensive User/Account/Roles system to handle different types of accounts and account permissions. It also has a very cool Administration area. In addition, the client side uses Backbone. This framework allows for unique scripts and css on a per page basis - nice! Overall this framework has some GREAT stuff in it. It's just maybe a little too big/rich if you just want to start building a simple site.