HTML standards are ever changing. You may have heard of style sheets. They allow you to do the same thing as tables, and much more. Putting text on top of an image, text on top of other text (dropshadows effects). You can specify the layout in a separate file, and then refer from your pages to that file. You won't need all the complicated table code anymore.
There is a big problem with style sheets however. Only the latest browsers support them. Version three browser owners would be left out in the cold. You would get very plain looking pages there, using only style sheets. So tables are the only usable layout tool for now.
Help promote this site
If you liked this tutorial, then why don't you help me promote it. The best thing to do is to put up a link at your web site. A simple text link is enough, preferably at your home page, preferably to the top of the page. Why? Search engines rate sites by the amount of links referring to them. Just add the folowing code to your site.
Where to go from here
With this page you have come to the end of the layout tutorial. I hope you learned to appreciate the importance of html tables for web page layout. The challenge for you now is to create a web site with what you know. To further assist you with this, I wrote the web design section. Not so much a tutorial, more a discussion on how to setup a site.
If you are serious about web design, you may want to have a look at graphics too. This site concentrates on html, publishing and web design in general. Graphics are a bit out of its scope, although I did write about some aspects of it. Maybe I will do some tutorials on graphics later. For now you may want to check out some of the sites on my graphics resources page. If creating graphics is not really your thing, you will appreciate the links to graphics libraries there.