Finally took the 1.5 plunge and followed the 1.2->1.5 upgrade options at http://www.tamba2.org.uk/wordpress/upgrade/upgrade_en.html.
I am very pleased with the result, except that I want my old layout restored. At Presentation-Themes, there is only default theme, with no other themes available. Also, it says "The template files are located in . The stylesheet files are located in ."
I am not sure if I done the chmod thing right, and I cannot find .htaccess file either in smartftp or cuteftp.
I am grateful for any help.