-casts vote for role="markupabuse"- =D

This is one of those odd threads where nobody is really wrong, just everyone is looking at it from a slightly different angle. I can see everyone's points (more or less), but I think my position is most in line with Stomme.

My problem with tables (and grids in general) for layout is you must force your layout to fit the grid. This happens in one of four ways:
- you change your design to suit a grid
- you increase the number of divisions in your grid
- you allow things to break out of the grid
- you have different grids within grids (i.e., nested tables)

The first one would be the best solution out of the three (in my opinion) because you actually get to use a grid as intended. However, getting everything to fit a grid (not just the containers) can be tricky, and often, a bit stifling.

The second one can be pretty decent if you're only going from like 4 break to 8 breaks. However, most designs would require the grid to be broken in to 100 pieces... which can quickly get overwhelming.

The third pretty much defeats the point of using a grid and can become difficult to maintain.

The fourth one also quickly gets very complex and difficult to maintain.

(This comes from both HTML experience as well as dealing with things like Java and GridBags.)

There are very few layouts that are really that difficult to create with floats and/or absolutely positioned elements. There are some, but often those are so complex that it would probably be good to redesign (for usability sake). It's far from perfect, but I think instead of this push to go back to tables/grids, we should just work on improving what we already have.