I've taken another stab at doing a site using CSS. It seems to be going a lot better than the previous attempt. Not entirely sure what I did differently this time, but it works so I'm not complaining.
At the end of October, I changed hosting services and blog publisher. I'm now hosted by Dreamhost and am publishing several sections of the site with Movable Type . I'm extremely happy with both so far. They're a welcome change from what I was using before.