I have a client that has a unique cart situation... along with some accessory type (more traditional item type products) their main product is fabric... so selling by the yard or variations there of, as well as allowing customers to order swatches.

This is my first true ecommerce solution so quite a task, especially for unique, non-typical product requirements. Also, my background in PHP is near 0.

I've narrowed it down, if only for my own sanity to Zencart or ECT(ecommercetemplates) (or would consider CubeCart if anyone can make super arguements for, but for now seems like either of the other two would be better).

Ideally, I'd like to implement an XHTML, CSS, table-less or near table-less layout, but realize that may not be possible.

I have heard a little about ECT, but not nearly as much as the others, but have been impressed because those who have used it seem to sing the praises quite highly.

They both look good, from my newbie eyes, but when I pull open demos of each side by side, it just seems like Zencart provides so much more in options and controls.... however, perhaps most of those are one time configurations that are placed in the control panel that would otherwise be placed in template pages so non-designers have a way to make changes???

Of course, this will also be turned over to my client (this will be their first website exposure to ecommerce as well) so I need to keep in mind what will also be easiest to manage and run day-to-day.

So if any experts on either of these would like to speak up, especially if you have experience with both, and even more, if you have had some experience with a similar application as selling fabrics or other "to measure" products, I would be most grateful.