I've never been a fan of CSS frameworks; They just seem unnecessary to me. Every project can benefit from a reset.css file and maybe basic typography styles, but a whole framework? Meh.
Then I read an excellent argument in favor of grid-layout frameworks in some book which I've since forgotten the name of and changed my mind (a tremendous feat indeed). I decided I'd make use of a grid-layout framework in my next project.
I chose Grid 960 for the project since that was the one mentioned in the book, I had heard about it before, and it seemed to me the most mature and stable. My experiences with Grid 960 weren't bad per se... I mean, it didn't sour me back to my original mindset... but a few points will have me looking for another framework.
- The extra markup required is basically reminiscent of tables. Instead of <tr> or <td> though now you've got <div class="container_12"> and <div class="grid_3">.
- Borders, margins, and padding will throw your grids off. While it makes sense and is ultimately unavoidable, it highlights the fact grid-systems are not necessarily as intuitive as they claim to be.
- I found 960px still a bit wide. More screen-real estate is available than there was a few years ago, but people don't necessarily view sites full screen like they did back in the 800x600 days.
- Grid 960 isn't scalable. I'm not talking about "responsive web design" here, rather just using ems or rems instead of pxs so things can scale properly.
Researching beyond 960 I saw there are few fluid and responsive ones. And I saw a 1KB framework which was cool. It lacked push/pull functionality, but would be sufficient for most of my work I think.
So 960 wasn't my cup of tea, but I haven't given up on grid-frameworks yet. Maybe I'll find something more to my liking for my next project... or even roll my own.