The default template path can be changed by setting the
CRAFT_TEMPLATES_PATH PHP constant in your index.php file:
I would recommend, however, that you start with the default path locations, until you are more comfortable with the app. There is a logical system in place which works really well once you get used to it. And you'll notice that the craft app folder (and all the plug-ins) are organized the same way, so once you start building your own sites and plugins it will all feel very integrated. Keep in mind the folder names also match the names of the controller classes, service classes, method names, etc. throughout the system which makes it easier to find your way around.
Another thing to keep in mind is that placing your Craft templates in your web root would make the raw template files publicly accessible from a web browser. So if you decide to go this route, be sure to place a .htaccess file in your templates folder with this:
Deny from all
That will tell Apache to protect the files from direct HTTP traffic, even though they live within the web root.