I find that trying to use tables when you need to fine-tweak a design is a whole lot more work - and with less reliable results -than using just CSS.
There are a few tips and tricks you need to know, but it really is well worth it. Practically anything you want to do with design, you can do with CSS.
There are times when tables are justified, however - i.e. presenting tabular data (which is what they were designed to do) such as repeating data returned from a database, etc, but not for design purposes.
You can have boxes within boxes, make some boxes have common css styles (change one, you change them all) or individual styles. Absolute control, site-wide.
A crude example here: Boxes inside Boxes