I'm having a problem with tables rendering properly in Netscape 6. No matter where I specify the height of a cell or row, whether in the <tr>, or <td> tag or both, as a style or an attribute or all at once it doesen't render the height correctly. In so far in IE 4-6 it's worked fine.
I have a title row with a fixed height of 145px. The rests fills the remaining space. What NS has been doing is adjusting the height of the rows to an equal amount when there's not a lot of content. As the content increases the title row shrinks in height til it eventually get to my specified height and stops there. It seems to be taking the height value and only applying it as a minimum height value.
I notice you're using max-height. According the to the W3C specs for max-height [w3.org], it applies to "all elements except non-replaced inline elements and table elements." In other words, it's not supposed to create a max-height for TD.
I haven't had a chance to look closely at your code to see why Netscape wants to expand that cell when there is little content below it, but there must be a reason. I'll look closer when I get a chance. However, max-height DOES apply to divs and P elements and so on, so perhaps you can get the functionality you want through by-passing layout tables altogether.
When all else fails, try an invisible image to fix the height. I've run into this problem with N6 and found that cell padding also influences height. And here's a real quirk in N6. If you use a DOCTYPE declaration, don't use <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html4/loose.dtd">
Only use <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
I don't know why, but when I had the full tag, N6 REALLY distorted my page. Strange but true. :)