The tables are just like on MS word, you create a table and use the cells (rows and columns) to position your text, and apply the necessary background images to each cell. You can create a template in photoshop/fireworks, and then cut it up to fit in each cell. Simple really, but don't do it (you can read up online why). Using Divs and CSS is essentially the same thing.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet, you have two documents, a html file (each page is a html file) and a css file (usually style.css), the css file links to all of the html pages (you apply a line of code to the html documents so they get their styles from the style sheet). The style sheet applies the font size, colours, background and formatting etc within the html document. On the html document you will create a DIV (a div is just like a cell from a table), you give the div an id, like this '<div id="example"> ... </div>. Everything inside that div will have whatever settings are applied to the id "example" in the style sheet.
You're best off looking up on Google for tutorials as you go along, it's really simple to get set up. What I do is keep a folder called "template", with my own set up .html and .css files, so I can just edit from there once I go to make a new site, rather than doing it all over every time (although it's good practice to create your sites from scratch every time to begin with, so you understand what's going on).
Dead simple when you get going =)
"I searched through the alterable values of flug gb.mfa but couldn't find Eric, Hoj, Alex or the Spaghetti Monster. Therefore Eric must exist, but Hoj, Alex and the Spaghetti Monster must not exist."