Cutting to the chase: you can view and download the results here. It’s a fairly straightforward piece of work with most (but not all) of the common form elements complying with my layout intentions with a reasonable degree of faithfulness. I tested it in every browser at my disposal and it looks passable in all of them — some better than others, of course. Unsurprisingly, the design suffers a bit at the hands of Internet Explorer, but that browser’s rendition of it is still acceptable, at least to me — I couldn’t justify investing more time into getting it to right.
Right: Yours to do with however you please. Just use your powers for good, not evil.
Use at Your Own Risk
Just be forewarned: I make no claims that this is a definitive example of a form, by any means. I did my level best at simplifying both the markup and the style rules, but by necessity my work reflects the particular requirements that I was faced with. So it’s reasonable to expect that this particular solution will not prove useful to every project to which it’s applied — I can’t guarantee that you won’t encounter problems when working with it, is what I’m sayin’. In truth, my theory is that every unique form requires its own particular finessing in both XHTML and CSS, so creating a ‘universal’ set for every situation seems unrealistic.
You Can Do Better
That said, I would be more than delighted if someone took what I’ve done here and improved upon it such that it’s more readily adaptable for other people’s needs. Lots of my code can be cleaned up and further simplified, I know, and I’d be happy to incorporate any such changes into a new version. If you undertake a major overhaul of it, you don’t even need to credit me — just tell me where I can download and use it for myself, because it would save me a lot of heartache the next time I have to design one of these things.