Don’t despair… there is hope.
Templates are overrated, the great thing about learning just a little bit of HTML is that you can make your site look like YOUR site, not the thousands of other users on Yahoo Geocities.
I can highly recommend two sites that really helped introduce me to the basics of HTML and web design. The tutorials on both do a good job of imparting quite a bit of information, while staying light and entertaining. The great thing about these sites are they grow with you… not just basic stuff, but advanced topics, aswell.
First is http://www.htmlgoodies.com/. There are a series of simple primers and tutorials that don’t assume you’ve been coding since you emerged from the womb. While you’re at the site, I recommend that you sign up for the weekly “HTML Goodies to Go” newsletter that discusses a particular topic (ex: functionality) and addresses a series of questions that have been submitted by readers.
The second site is http://www.webmonkey.com. They have a lot of tutorials and you can explore them by subject matter (multimedia) or skill level (beginner).
Once you’ve gone through a few of these tutorials and have an idea what it’s all about, go back and play with Dreamweaver… it will make a lot more sense. I can code pages by hand, but I really prefer to build my pages the way I want and then go in and manually tweak what I need to.
I wouldn’t recommend moving to another host… DH makes it about as easy as it can be. Once you start experimenting and putting up pages, you’ll appreciate what DH has to offer.
Good luck and hit me back if you have any more questions.