I just tried setting the <td> to hidden overflow and removed the div, but the cell is still being forced to the width of my text. I must be missing something here, I thought the idea of overflow:hidden is to allow the content's parent to be narrower than the content itself. I have taken the code above and changed the left table cell to a width of 2px and an overflow of hidden, and the cell is still rendered at the same width as the text. If I do that same with a <div> THEN it works.
So I guess my question is, is there some way to get a table cell to treat overflow like a div tag does? I really don't want to have to use frames just to build a help system style UI, and using a divs only layout (as far as I know) would require me to set exact widths on the divs so I can use a float: left without the divs wrapping. I want the layout to be 'full bleed'.
Thank you all very much for your time, thoughts and suggestions so far!