I use CSS now on pages that matter, but I also write a lot of quickies, such as observations on the Republican Convention, and out of simple habit I just whip them out and stick in a couple of <h2> and <font> tags and things. Since these pages tend to go on existing web sites, the link back usually includes a 'target', which was the subject of my original posting. (Some of my sites use, shame, shame, Frames. I know I can accomplish the same thing with DIVs, but why bother?)
When I update a web page of a more permanent nature, I usually change it to reflect more current technology.
As for my web sites, even the ones with umpty-ump pages, I tend to use the same design (hence cut and paste), but not that consistently, since I like to vary fonts and colors, not excessively, but depending on the subject. This is just a matter of personal taste, but I find web sites where everything is the same except for content very boring and tedious to page through.
Very few people now use background images (except novices) these days, unless you can call those pages made up to look like juke boxes with their multiple images -- curved top left.gif, curved bottom left.gif, blinking dial.gif, etc. state of the art. They are designed for people with DSL, not modems, since they take forever to load and are full of Flash programs and Sound. To hell with them. Sometimes, however, a background image is right for the web site, as long as the text is readable on top of it.