Thanks to Market-Tek for the design award.
(1.) Yes, page layout is important to me, but load speed is too!
(2.) 70% of all Americans with computers are using systems at least ten years old. Most of these people are also using a dial up internet service provider. (Because it is within their budget.)
Now, imagine how old their browser is.
(3.) It is of no value to build a beautiful web-site, with all the latest bells and whistles, only to have the average consumer using dial-up, on an old machine, be unable to view your site. (Information is power, not looks.)
(4.) I'd rather reach 100% of the available market than impress 30% of my friends with how cool my page "looks".
(5.) I have worked hard to make this a site that is representative of the HTML skills I've learned and the beliefs I have in effective web page design. Keep it simple, and it will be successful because of the number of people you reach with your message.
6.) This award means more to me because this site is hand coded with love in nothing more than notepad.