I am unable to find a way within catalyst to make buttons that scale based on the length of their text - is there a way to accomplish this? i would prefer not to stretch the entire background to fit, but keep the left and right caps intact and scale the center of the button. i've tried importing from both illustrator and photoshop.
Catalyst does not support what you're looking for in the current beta. You would need to bring in artwork of the appropriate size for your button.
If you are up for getting your hands a bit dirty in Flash Builder, you can check out the following page on 9-slice, which would support scaling the middle section of an image while leaving the corners intact.