Tell that to Paul O'Brien
I can't find an article on his site that deals with 100% height and a header or footer with pixel height.
Tables were never devised for layout - they only got used for that when people decided they wanted their web pages to look better, and nothing else was availble.
In practice, that comes down to exactly the same as I'm saying.
When Siegel says that he "ruined the internet" because content was mixed with his presentation, he was right. It used to be a horrible job to redo websites, having to redo every page individually, taking everything out of the table cells and putting them in other cells.
But for that problem, a much better solution has become available since the development of divs and CSS: server-side scripting includes. Simply make one parent page, and have the browser reuse that over and over again, with every time new content. Change the website? Simply change the parent page, and maybe the (one) external style sheet of the content files.
So, basically, the whole notion of one external style sheet with which one can change all (parent + built-in child) pages is a solution to a problem that does not exist anymore. At least not for the (semi-)professional webmaster.
No server-side scripting available, or don't wanna have PHP or ASP constantly running on your machine? Load the different content files into an iframe. Works like a charm as well (there is a simple trick to have those files automatically loaded into the parent page, when those files come up in Google).
Further, modern search engines have no problem whatsover with pages with table layout. And the notion of a "tabled" page loading significantly slower than a "div'ed" one is ridiculous. You can only measure that with 100 or so downloads after eachother and even then the difference is minimal, with modern broadband.
So this whole crusade against tables is unnecessary and looks much like an Don Quichotte-battle (and it is atmosphere-ruining!!).
There are circumstances under which divs layout is the only option, so DON'T mistake me for a hardline "tabler", but this does not have to be one of them (depending on the contents and the further to specify layout demands).