Yes, I left the word 'template' out intentionally
To be able to design web applications that are easy to maintain, easy to extend, and that have components which can be re-used in various applications with as little fuss as possible. (Read as:I'm on salary, so I want to bring my work week down from 70 hours to 50 hours.)
I started looking for various tools and techniques to make this happen. I'd heard that templates can make all of this possible so I started investigating. After a little research, I decided that Smarty looked the best and began the process of learning it's language.
After plowing through the huge manual and checking out the examples (which look a lot like php) I began to have second thoughts about this. I did some more research and came across a great many articles which explain why templates aren't such a GoodThing(TM) after all.
What is the best way for me (a programmer with no outside HTML people) to do this (seperate code from content and generate maintainable, reuseable code)?