An Objective Look at Table Based vs. CSS Based Design
This is a good article that discusses the differences between table-based and CSS-based design. It provides a great overview of the pros and cons of using one type of design or the other. The author describes why many web designers aren't using CSS based design yet. The author makes a very interesting point that most clients don't care how the site is coded and need to be sold on why to use CSS for a site. Overall this is a very matter-of-fact look at CSS.
I agree with the author that CSS on the surface is relatively easy to learn but after the basic properties and techniques, the learning curve becomes much steeper. Still in my humble opinion, CSS is well worth the investment of time. Particularly, if you are going to continue to do web design in the future. That doesn't mean as a web designer you shouldn't also understand how to do table-based layout. Depending on your circumstances this may be necessary as well. One instance where this could be necessary is if you have a high Netscape 4.x user base. So the lesson learned is study your CSS and practice pushing the envelope, but keep your table-based layout skills sharp as well. There is still use for them both.