a designer friend of mine told me that I had to go table-less with all my HTML/XHTML.
Tables have one defined purpose: Tabular data. For that purpose, using them was never wrong. Using divs or other elements to re-build a table for tabular data is, was, and always has been a fine example of cargo cult programming - adopting something ("Eeeek, tables are evil!") without really understanding why.
See this SO question for attempted definitions of what constitutes tabular data: Proper definition for "tabular data" in HTML
What they should not be used for is layouting the page. That has really come out of style, and will probably never get back in style any more, seeing as they become less and less necessary as CSS improves.
I personally find using tables for forms totally okay, by the way.