Thanks for your explanation, StoutFiles. I don't want to give you a hard time, I really appreciate your input, but want to understand the pro's and contra's of tableless lay-out so I still have some questions.
I think, that splitting content and lay-out (by using a style sheet) has in itself nothing to do with the fact whether or not you have a tableless lay-out.
I do add width and height dimensions occasionally to a table or table-cell (which is not allowed if you want to have your site validated), but the rest of the lay-out is put in a CSS-file. Because of the problems I often run into with positioning elements, I still make use of tables.
SE's prefer div's, because it is easier to categorize content with tags .... but <table>, <tr> and <td> are tags, there can be a <p> inside of it or a <ul>, so what's the difference for the SE's?
I am happy to say I understand you remark about SE's preferring sites without huge layout changes. :-)