I've operated the Canadian Coast Guard web site and Intranet(s) for over 15 yrs using FrontPage and a few other tools. MS Expression web editor is the next evolution in the FP product line. It contains a number of new features for the creation and management of XML based documentation
but will still do all the HTML most users require. Expression has better visual design features that allow you to modify, on the Fly, style sheets
and document templates especially those with multiple layers. It's more akin to a desktop
publishing tool. If you could do it in FP you can do it in Expression. They're very similar.
Sharepoint designer is better off avoided. It is designed to work with Sharepoint Portal Servers to create and manage content for those servers. Sharepoint Portal Servers are more suited to company or corporate Intranets or Web portals. I've wasted weeks of work with that flakey product.
I've used (and do use) Dreamweaver and a host of other tools. If you want to do it on the cheap
do a google
search for "Free HTML Editor". There's a few good ones out there but I haven't had the opportunity to test any lately. My favorite was a product called "Hot Dog" but I don't think it's available anymore.