I believe you are making the universal mistake of assuming that your method and experience is the only viable method and that your
"understanding" of the concept of media and medium is complete. I am a communicator and I deal with people who are, primarily, trying to say something, not sell something. So my perception comes from giving voice to people with something to say. I have slogged through many a crappy website by many a powerful thinker to get to the ideas.
Yes, I agree 100% that standards and complience are extremely important and that dynamic websites running on dynamic, complient engines are where the future of web development and design are. And I have little doubt that Macromedia will continue to enhance their product to reflect that as well. In fact, I generally only use my copy of Dreamweaver to check and modify PHP at this point, or to work with students and educators. I need to know these programs because designers do need to know these programs. Believe it or not, sophisticated graphic design is important to a lot of people. Even if, yes, the designer comps and the developer creates code based on those comps, what you have, then, is a team.
Who’s influencing the web and society these days? It’s the bloggers. Why? Because of CONTENT. And, lucky for most of them, blogging software tends to be complient, dynamic, clean and functional without them having to really learn how it works. So, really, my recommendation to a lot of people just starting out is to use a blogging engine for their site. In time they will learn how to modify the CSS and templates and never go down that non-standard path in the first place. Then, they may begin to understand the PHP or Perl code the engine is built on. But they could still use Dreamweaver, GoLive or Nvu to modify their templates and, in fact, Dreamweaver is used widely for template design.
Different tools for different tasks.
Again, I also think it is important to answer the OP’s question. Someone looking for a replacement to Frontpage is probably looking for a WYSIWYG editor. To that person, again, I say Nvu’s your product. It’s free, compliant and easy to learn.