Have finally sussed out most of the issues building the new site without tables and using DIVs and CSS throughout and finally got it so that it works in Firefox, IE8, Safari and Chrome without getting long spaces way below the bottom of the last page element.
The problem was with the way I was asking the software to interpret the background image in the container DIV shifting everything down a notch which is a bug with CSS2 and hopefully should be resolved with CSS3 when it fully arrives. I made the background image appear only in the top DIV and gradient shaded it into a white background colour to resolve all the issues. It is a cobble and I don’t like it but it works.
I just wish all browsers rendered web pages the same way to make my life a whole lot easier. The good news is I now have a template to base the entire site on and I will post it for you to view when I have done the rest of the pages. The other good news is I have a better understanding of CSS and I can manually code a page without the need for Adobe CS5 or similar to create it.
Notepad and a whole lot of reading is your friend so don’t depend on extortionate-costing software to build your site. It may take longer, but the rewards are greater.