europeforvisitors: "What did that other 60% (the code that was removed) consist of?"
redundant font tags mostly...a certain amount of surplus or pointless formatting stuff, it does like to go for the double line break rather than paragraph now and again though that doesn't add a lot
mostly though it simply had added a single attribure in each tag when either no tag was required at all or multiple attributes would have been far more efficient
europeforvisitors: "What FP features and "available technologies" were you using or not using?
I'm leaving FPE out of this...they were an entirely different problem
europeforvisitors: "How much text is on your pages?"
the site is entirely text based...there are few images at all
europeforvisitors: "Were you using templates? If not, why not? (FrontPage won't mess with existing code, so you could have hand-tweaked your templates and typed text into a "text container" area.)"
yes it used templates...and no FP DOES alter existing code even if you've told it not to...not as badly as it does when it comes out of the box, and nowhere near as horrendously as older versions...but it still takes liberties and makes assumptions
europeforvisitors: "As for SE positioning, I'm #1 for some very competitive keywords and keyphrases, and my current Alexa Traffic Ranking is neck-and-neck with Travel and Leisure's and way ahead of Travel Holiday's, so I don't think FrontPage has hurt me."
well done...but the fact that it ranks well doesn't mean it couldn't do better
you are right content is the most important thing...and for some people handing over the entire control of the mark up to software may be the only way for them to operate...for me I found FP slowed me down and caused me to waste huge amounts of time trying to fight it's default settings when just slapping new content into a template page with a text editor takes no time at all and tends to come out spot on first time
horses for courses and all that...but this should stay factual not degenerate into everyone stating that their way of working is best for everyone...FP does not produce partivularly clean code even now...it is cheaper than Dreamweaver and easier to use without thinking about the process than a text based editor...that may suit some people...they may as well use it...but it is no more than that