I notice the effect only in Firefox (6.0.2). I had previously made some changes to Firefox to make it load faster, which might be the cause of the problem. When I use IE, I notice only a band of the screen will change back to the original background color (white) when I hit refresh, and even this happens very quickly. I used some html from w3schools.com and created another page and another style sheet just to make sure it wasn't anything bad in my own code. Here is a link to the page that I made from the w3schools code:
The above page still has the effect that I am talking about. I notice that none of the professionally done pages seem to do this, even in my tweaked Firefox browser, and I have looked at the page source for those pages and they all have style sheets. Some examples are indeed.com, vongage.com, search.yahoo.com, and even this page (sitepoint). I am wondering if it is something in their headers or their html definition that is making their pages load so well. I notice that the problem completely disappears when I use inline styling as in the code that I wrote in the previous post (I am using inline styling now on the index page). But I don't want to be limited to using inline styling. Thank you all for your posts and help!