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Niels Matthijs

That isn’t true at all. The images required to make those rounded corners look round add up in bandwidth for complex pages. And then the images for the gradients and the processor usage needed to tile them… Oh, and heaven help you if any of it needs to use transparent pngs and you have to add filters or javascript to make it all look nice without gray backgrounds showing through. (Just to list a few very common scenarios.)

For users with an inferior browsers … yes. Other users (Firefox, Safari, Opera) won’t notice a single thing.

As for future flexibility, every single one of those images being used to replicate things that CSS3 can do is far more time consuming

Slippery slope there. It isn’t that much work, and before you know it you’ll start cutting corners in other fields too. No matter how you look at it, you’re dropping the quality of your product. If that’s not the case, you should question the value of the rounded corners and whatever fancy css3 you’re adding.

But more than anything I’m worried about the resulting css. The bigger the change, the messier your css will turn out. It’s extremely hard to maintain a good css using advanced selectors and css3 (and just for the record, we’re still not using css3 for rounded corners, we’re using crappy browser-specific extensions with bugs and different syntax – hooray for that) and I can’t see myself adapting a design with the client right next to me, at the same time ensuring the quality of the css. It’s okay for color tweaks and very minor adjustments, but whenever positioning is involved it will mess up your css.

Finally, Andy’s Sam & Max design does in a way show the limitations of designing in a browser (even if he didn’t hint at it). Whether you like that sort of thing is a matter of taste, but I don’t really like to see the technical limitations/background in a design.