short answer - no for that one I'm not paid ;-) It's a friend's site. A good friend, who's herself an artist and has a pretty precise idea of what she wants ;-} and she knows little enough of markup and webdesign to expect me to do it "just so"...
Basically the following problems exist or persist (as you wish ;-)):
- Basic layout should be like in Laila (basic as in what goes where)
- we are rooting for two variants: a photo/colored one, or a drawings/stark-b/w one.
The colored one can be easily done with Laila practically as is (except for the non-matching column lengths which bug me personally). It's done (except for the box lengths) and looks quite ok so far.
The drawings one needs fine 1px borders around certain blocks (sidebar, topnav bar, picture insert, main content, footer) with no "doubled" lines.
Now, while I can "construct" this thing in CSS with image backgrounds (nope - to CSS the borders in is not that easy a gimmick, precisely for the differing heights and hacks needed), I'd create havoc with my nerves doing that - while it takes about 10 seconds with plain tabled layout and pronto!, plus it would even nicely display in different browsers.
The only problem I so far have with WP and tables is, that it (WP) doesn't work. I even had a close look at Bionic Jive which truly didn't help me much.
Probably I'm just dense, I dropped the WP calls in the relevant table cells with the Loop going in the largest one supposed to hold the posts. The clean table code (without WP tags/calls):
'<table width="750" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" bordercolor="#000000">
<td rowspan="2" width="250"></td>
Just looking at it tells you how little markup this is compared to what I'd need to CSS that. ;-)
It's for such things that I find myself saying "why the heck should I use CSS if I can solve things so easily?" and "F..k the anti-table fraction".
I like CSS, I'm certainly not anti-CSS, but I'm no purity fanatic, I'm a down to earth practical realist.
And just to insert an (concededly very small) edge into the "table is over and not for design" debate I watch going on these days: THIS is as much tabular data as pure lists are. The design this intends to achieve is straight from the hard cover (comic strip) sheaf page that the content (for that blog) is drawn on. I see absolutely no single valid reason not to use the same table the artist draws with ruler and inkpen on the webpage.
Back to the problem. I'd love to use this table for this theme variant. It's easy, clean and elegant. But I can't get WP to function inside it. As I said, I'm probably too dense to wrap my brain about what WP code needs to go where with such a table.