Luckily up until this point of my web development career, I have never used a wysiwyg or visual editor to build HTML and CSS. I literally haven't even installed one on my computer until last week.
However, I'm currently working on a fairly simple project for a client where they'd like to manage the site afterwards using such a program. No problem, I thought, the big guys like Adobe's GoLive and Macromedia's Dreamweaver tout their adoption of CSS and web standards — surely I can handcraft the templates and then let the client manage things from there, right? Not so fast. Both of these products use the antiquated Opera 6 rendering engine, which dates back to early 2002! The site I'm working on isn't exactly complicated. Flexible-width columns and a few absolutely positioned things are about as complex as it gets, but it gets horribly mangled in the "view" mode of either of these programs. Remember, I'm not looking for anything too complex here, just some simple functionality to edit pages and copy pre-existing code on the site. Neither of these behemoths even comes close to being able to do that for this site.
The other obvious choice is Nvu, a product based on the old Netscape Composer and later Mozilla Composer. It uses the Gecko rendering engine (the same thing Firefox uses) and does render the page correctly. It also works on Linux, Windows, and OSX and as a side bonus is entirely free and open source. However, it's already crashed my Windows machine twice and it doesn't offer the same functionality as its more powerful brethren. The lack of full templating tools and the half-implementation of the lockable template areas are important omissions in the current 1.0 version, as far as I can tell. But, it looks like the only tool that might even possibly work.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I'm blissfully innocent when it comes to these tools, so maybe I'm missing something. Is there another product I should be trying or are there some settings I should switch? It's hard to believe that this is the best the wysiwyg world has to offer.