I first started designing for the web in the summer of 1997, when this site was born. I originally used an editing program (for about a week) - then realised that it would be much more satisfactory to code the HTML myself, in a text editor. Partly this was because my ageing 486 made it difficult to run the HTML editor and graphics programs/FTP client/browsers at the same time. Although I now have much more computing power available to me, the same is true today - and I use pico and occasionally vi or gvim (linux editors)
The main reason for the way I code is simply because it gives me the freedom to design my site how I want it - and if you think that using an HTML editor is going to give you better results, bear in mind that they do not by any means give valid HTML, as checked by http://validator.w3.org/ for example. Knowing the code thoroughly is the most important part, because it enables you to put things right easily, and manage additions and alterations.
Although mine may not be the perfect method, it's one that works for me. In the past I have designed the Zebra Translations [archive] website, and the Seraphia [archive] website. I've also helped with the Highgate School Physics Department [archive]. However these have all since been redesigned or removed.