Well, it's been an interesting time and a significant learning curve. Turns out you can't have your cake and eat it. Having read the book on Dreamweaver and explored several software variations from WebDesign to Rapidweaver to Freeway and a couple of others here are my observations.
1) WYSIWYG is all very well, if you know exactly what you want and are willing to spend a very long time getting there (or don't have a sophisticated site to develop).
2) Template/theme type software like Rapidweaver frustrates because you can't do exactly what you want. On the other hand, it has extremely powerful features that with a few clicks can develop an entire blog system complete with comments and photo albums and contact forms complete with PHP code to go without any knowledge on your part. Not only that, it comes with dozens of themes and more are available for purchase, many better looking than anything I could come up with and all available at the click of a button - changing your entire website to match.
3) You have to stop and think, is a website about being clever and artistic, or is it about cleanly and effectively presenting your images and text? If the answer is the former then WYSIWYG is the way to go, but if the latter, then template driven is better and of the various options, Rapidweaver is looking by far the best choice that I have discovered.
So, with the above in mind, I have chosen to accept some limitations of Rapidweaver and get a functional good looking site up within reasonable time, even if it isn't exactly what I might have wanted.
You can view the site (most of the time) as I develop it at MyFirstWebsite.
There will be problems with it - I have already discovered a few with the version I just uploaded - some links I forgot to set, some grraphics I don't like, text that is too small, and I'm not satisfied with the sharpness of the displayed images - looks like I would be best using Photoshop to create right sized images and do no resizing within Rapidweaver. Also, some of the images are black and white toned while others are not - I think I'm going to have to decide on one or the other. As it stands, the bluish gray background doesn't go well with the toned images but I might change the background rather than the toning. Stay tuned for further developments.
And a quick reminder, Rapidweaver is Mac only.