> Actually it could be a maintainability nightmare either way. It depends on the structure of your site and what you are designing for. If your site consists of 500+ pages that is divided into 30 sections, all with different formatting, then external style sheets are nothing more than a headache. I have some pages that share the same formatting as others, but once you bring multimedia into the mix, a single page may no longer share the same formatting as other pages in its section. A “static” website where every page is the same should use external style sheets. Otherwise, who wants to edit 2 pages for every single one webpage? Some people cannot code all that fast, in this case they should use external style sheets. I can code a page out in seconds, practically with my eyes shut, I have no need for external anything. Also, alot of the time I just simply copy and paste a page to retain its formatting, then simply replace the content (this takes about 5 seconds of time), and the pages load fast because I’m not linking to a million style sheets.
First you say you use different formatting on each page, then you say you copy and paste entire pages because the formatting is the same. I simply cannot see a need for a site that is so void of any consistency that you require separate styles for each page, especially one of 30 sections and 500+ pages. Are the header and footers on the sites the same or very similar? I find that the majority of my CSS is dedicated to just those two elements on every site I work with.
> There’s site popping up everywhere that have literally hundreds of external style sheets, goofy.
I’ve seen sites with too many stylesheets (15-20) but I have never seen any with close to 100 stylesheets. I’m sorry, but I need to see some live examples of sites that have so many different pages that they need their own styles/stylesheets.
Also, wouldn’t each page having its own inline styles make each page lose most of the benefits of caching items like images and stylesheets and therefore erase any performance benefit of using inline styles on every page.