In Flex 4, you typically use either states or navigator components such as ViewStack to display a different part of your app. Flex 4.5 will have mobile components that offer another paradigm.
You can use modules to dynamically load parts of your app as other SWFs.
Adobe Flex SDK Team
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Typically in the main file I have all my header, footer, menu and stuff like that, and the I create a mxml component for each "page" in the app, which I then use States to add to the displaylist, see:
Day 4: Page Layout and Animation -> Creating and navigating "pages" in a UI
If you the have stuff you don't use that often, when have them in external modules, where you use the ModuleLoader, to load them in at runtime, when they are to be used.
Thank you for your most excellent suggestion! I have now gone through a bunch of the videos and they are terrific. I can now see that this is one powerful product/architecture. As I learn more about Flex, and begin to play around a bit, I am sure I will find the right approach - what's good is knowing that there are several available.
Adobe should indeed have some credit for the "learn flex in week" video tutorials.
I'm working working full time mainly as a Flex developer, so if you have any questions you could always PM me (I actually don't know have private messaging works here) But I'm always interested in helping, especcialy if you have architectural knowledge, always interested in learning