In my day job I'm an engineer but I have very little web development or programming experience. As a result of reading this book (and others, mentioned below) I'm now a do-it-yourself web developer for my home businesses, scuba instruction and home studio recording, and this book got me addicted to the Head First series of books. I've since purchased and read Head First PHP & MySQL
This book quickly got me up and running with a modern look and feel for my website, which previously looked like something a college kid from 1997 created (because I last used HTML as a college kid in 1997). Although intimidating at 650 pages, I quickly devoured every word and exercise in this very well-written guide filled with great hands-on applications and a memorable approach.
As noted in the title of this review, it is a great INTRO getting your feet wet with a lot of useful skills, and as far as HTML goes it was all I really needed, but it gave me just enough exposure to CSS to make me hungry for more. After completing the Head First PHP & MySQL I learned a few useful tips with PHP for code reusability, but ultimately bought another guide on CSS - CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions, Second Edition
by Andy Budd - EXCELLENT follow-up to this book IMHO!!
With the foundation I got from this book and CSS Mastery I feel very comfortable with my XHTML and CSS skills, in fact I've already encountered and resolved a browser-specific bug as a result of the skills I've learned. For building a strong foundation in XHTML and CSS I very highly recommend this book, and if you want to take it further then follow up with CSS Mastery for more advanced CSS skills.
If you intend to move on to PHP and MySQL, continuing on with the Head First series was a good move for me, but I already know I will want more knowledge on both PHP and MySQL. (By the way, I've provided a review for all three of these books on Amazon)