I picked up "Head First Web Site Design" to help me with the "design" portion of a new site. The author walks through a number of great topics, including information architecture, color, layout, and CSS. I have heard about using CSS for layout, rather than HTML tables, but had not fully investigated or used the approach. After walking through the book, I understand this approach better and understand the reasoning. It's really cool and quite amazing to see how powerful a CSS based layout can be.
I'm used to the table based layout, but I think a CSS layout approach feels much more powerful and precise. It keeps the content clean and separate from the presentation & layout. This is really cool and evident when you turn off the CSS using IE's developer tool.
One of the tools that they book shows is the Blueprint CSS framework for getting content into the "magic thirds" for layout.
CSS for layout... I'll drink that koolaid!