let me explain. I've become reasonably well versed in HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and have been building sites with my old tried and true HOMESITE (macromedia) editor for over 10 years. But times have changed, starting with TIME itself. I just don't have the time to hand code sites anymore, unless its absolutely necessary. So I was looking for some compromise. Something that gave me the convenience of WYSIWYG page, menus, and navigation editing, while still allowing me to tweak my page templates and CSS files.

I guess that latter part really doesn't exist anymore the way I'm used to working. Everything available now, especially on my budget, is all PHP based CMS systems. Well I've already wasted over a week messing with Wordpress, and after the usual initial frustration I guess its usable. But I'm not really happy with it and am wondering if there might be a better choice. So a few people recommended I try Joomla. I will, but I've also learned that "try" means spending considerable time, and it might pay for me to get some familiarity from other users before I jump in. So...

1) does it offer the kind of WYSIWYG interface I'm looking for?

2) Lets say you find a template or theme or whatever you "kind of" like. How tough is it to edit the underlying CSS and/or templates, to really customize it to the look you want?

3) With an HTML based site, you can pretty reliably test the whole thing at home on your various machines and browsers, and tweak it until your happy before you publish. How on earth can you do that with a CMS, if it requires your hosting company's server to really test? (I know you can set up your own server, but Murphy's law says it won't work exactly like my hosting company does).

4) Finally, if there are other that tried Joomla with a similar motivation and background, I'm really interested in how you feel about it. Excited? Great? Sucks? Don't waste your time?

thanks in advance!