» Don't follow this road blindly.
» Don't get me wrong.
Fully abstracting your UI from its content takes skill and time. If you don't follow thru, you can negate much of the benefit you seek to create. Now stop and think. Do you even know what the benefit is that you are attempting to create? Will that value be worth the effort? Consider the price to performance ratio of taking time to fully abstract logic from presentation and content from presentation. Can you do adequate work (using html tables) without spending the time to fully abstract the UI (using divs and css)? Can you save the client money and meet their actual needs?
Actual needs. Don't ignore actual needs or forget them in your 'separate content from presentation' hubris. If you can intelligently analyze requirements and make decisions that minimize cost and maximize value, you are doing the right thing. Even if that means using html tables.
For the record: I'm not standards hater. I am a lover of my client's money, or my employer's budget and want to preserve my relationship with it. Sometimes you aren't doing yourself or the money holder any favors by jumping thru hoops, sometimes you are.
I know that doing 'the right thing' (ie, proper UI abstraction) can be easy, but it can be hard. Making mistakes and doing it half assed is really easy to do. Sure, you could go steal someone else's front end code, and make it really easy on yourself. But odds are that you have to develop a web app or web site that is original (imagine that).
My message is: Don't follow blindly, make decisions.