I used a different method. I define categories that I will call static in usage terms, and I modified wp-blog-header.php right after the $wpvarstoreset big loop with something like:
if ($cat==11) // the ABOUT cat
$staticSection = true;
I then modify the template to not output a link for posts in a static section. I've done further hacks to allow both static and non-static posts in a given category using the sticky-posts tagging so that sticky posts look static, but non-sticky are just links -- within a $staticSection category page.
If you look at my about page, you'll get the idea.
Of course, you can restrict yourself to a single post in each category if you want. But this way, all the static page data is still posts in the DB, with all the formatting capabilities, and any changes to the overall template will obviously apply to them like any other page.
If you do want customizable styles, add another [div] wrapper around the [div "content"], when $staticSection is true -- give it a class name you like ([div class="staticcontent"] or something), and then you can override/subclass styles in the CSS to make the static content look slightly different.