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[edited by: bill at 12:55 am (utc) on Jan. 24, 2007]
[edit reason] removed personal URLs [/edit]
I finally grasped the bullet on Sunday and tried to install Wordpress and it was so easy (found a very nice theme to modify as well). However I understand your worries about customising it - it does look difficult with all those php files to edit. In fact, you can just embed html markup in those files for the overall page design - you may find it easier than you first think.
Another option is blogger which can publish to your site and provides a feed (in Atom format rather than RSS but that should be ok). That accepts emails to blog (although sometimes it just saves them as draft if it thinks your a blog spammer). You will still have the problem of customising the template but I find the Blogger single template much easier to understand.