SuzyUK - 10:33 pm on Mar 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
Hi jschapansky and Welcome to WebmasterWorld!
It looks to me like your container is not containing and it's actually a fixed height 1100px! - if indeed that is the case and it's not containing it won't matter if it's centered or not..
The other divs I think are following it, not inside it as that explains why they need such large negative top margins (or co-ordinates) to "bring them up" over the top of the container.. their left positioning is what's controlling their "centering" not the container
relative positioning does not actually move the space the element needs, it just visually offsets the elements so those elements that have the large negative top co-ordinates still have the space reserved for them where they shouljd be (likely the cause of the huge gap!)
so I think there's too much positioning going on here, more is likely to make it worse ;) - It's never a good idea to fix the height of a container as no 2 people might be looking at the page with same resolution , or even if they are no 2 pages are likely to have the same amount of content and as soon as you have a page with less or more content you're either going to have the big gap you mention or the content will overflow it (no gap at all)
it might be best to learn a wee bit about CSS-P (CSS with positioning) without FP or Dreamweaver so you can then set them up not use positioned divs by default. I think they they call them, positioned divs, layers and that's what your code is doing, it's layering the divs as opposed to nesting them, or going with the flow..