Perhaps you could post a picture of your desired page and we could
suggest some workable page layout structures to accomodate your content.
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You have definitely not wasted the past 2 months. You probably know your image inside and out. Turn on the rulers in your image editor and make some measurements that will help when you set up your divs. You can even super-enlarge and get really accurate measures.
You might want to learn something about the box model at this point: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Dreamweaver/10.0_Using/WScbb6b82af5544594822510a94ae8d65-7de5a .html
So, importing images.
Once you've created jpegs or gifs or pngs...use the slices that you created!...remember that you are not actually 'importing' images, you are creating containers for them (divs) and referring to them, as it were, in your code.
Insert > Image > Select Image Source dialog box. You can now browse to your image, select it, and in the process save it into the images folder in your site folder. If all your images are going into one images folder, set the images folder up in your site definition, and they will automatically be placed there when you do the Insert > Image thing.
You don't need Smart Objects (what are those, anyway?), just normal jpegs, gifs, and pngs.
Now, when you "dragged one in Dreamweaver", did you look at the code when you dropped it in? Maybe not. But get accustomed to checking the code periodically, and you will learn the language more quickly.
And once you have the basic rules down (how divs operate, how to style them), you will be able to design "on the fly". But it will be with very different skills than you used in Photoshop.
Have fun! It's not all heartache here...