So that's what the faux column technique is, I was thinking it was something different. I have used this before, but the issue I ran into was the repeating background image would still only repeat as far as there was content in either the column or main content area. When using a fixed footer, sometimes it's preferable to have it extend all the way to the footer.
What I did to address this is put the image in the outer wrapper itself, and make sure it didn't show on top of any of the header images either by inserting header images instead of backgrounds, or tweaking z indexes.
Either way, you have provided the solution - thank you very much, especially for providing the code and the image itself for me!
Once again, Web Assist support saves the day!