I often find myself wishing for CSS widgets, so to speak. A reusable component of HTML and CSS that can be inserted without inheriting anything from the parent elements. You can achieve this if you take a lot of care, but it should be a lot easier than it is.
> the difficult of writing core graphics methods for every bevel, rounded corner, gradient etc has a lot of developers just using cut images for everything.
On iOS, the QuartzCore framework provides declarative methods for those common style choices (rounded corners, gradients, etc.).
The new CSS3 flexible box layout changes all that. It's incredibly rich and designed to obviate the need for clumsy CSS layout hacks. Check it out if you haven't already... it is the missing piece for app-like layouts for the web. The incredibly complex layouts that can be achieved with minimal CSS and no JS is astounding. Pair this with text-overflow and with ~ 50 lines of CSS and some very basic html you can achieve wonders.
Not only that but it's usable today. Both webkit and gecko have very close implementations with only minor edge cases, none of which are insurmountable.
Not sure about iOS support for the new layout modes.