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[edited by: engine at 8:10 am (utc) on June 21, 2008]
[edit reason] no specific sites, thanks [/edit]
Basically you have a <ul> with 26 <li>s, some hover background images in CSS, and some markup to make the act like buttons on a hover.
Next you either go the complex way where you upon hover could already change with content you display (and here IE6 hover on "<a>" only will hurt you big time), or you make 26 such pages, or you could consider ajax like technisque to change the content on the page by fetch more content from the server without reloading the entire page....
I really don't think it's hard to achieve, but you need to set what you need/want to achieve with the measures you're implementing.
As swa66 says it could be done pure css and html.
Suckerfish horizontal menu and a bit of tweeking and you could get the same effect.