MT4 Templates Fixed!!

I finally figured out the MT4 issue. It took 2 straight weeks of pseudo-random configuration changes, and an open support ticket with Movable Type. They weren’t particularly helpful, but did point me in the right direction. They said it was a permissions problem on the mt-static/ folder, which was the first thing I checked on my own.
After checking all the permissions in every folder, and in the Apache configuration files, I eventually checked the HTML source of the template editing page. The StaticURI option was reading a different virtual host than what I was expecting, so I checked the mtconfig.cgi file for its StaticWebPath setting. Sure enough, this was set to a vhost for an earlier beta version of MT.
I was unsure why this should make a difference, there being an mt-static/ folder in that path, and getting a “mt-static – OK” when accessing the path directly. However, it was still a problem. When I corrected the StaticWebPath to point to the new mt-static/ folder on the proper virtual host, everything started working.
Now I just need to figure out how to use the new template editor. Now, apparently, for every template stored on the server, there are separate template headers and footers, each needing to be edited separately. I’m still not clear on how the headers and footers interact, though it may be simply that there is one common header, and one common footer for each blog.
Also, there are dozens, if not hundreds of new variables, and a whole complicated scripting language I have to learn. I’m still trying to figure out how to make a simple change in the look and feel of the pages. For example, I do not want a category-based blog (such as Slashdot) to display a list of blog entries based on author name. Nor do I want a date-based list, nor a list of all the archives ever made. I’ve been blogging for about 7 years now, and that is one huge archive list page. So I’m going to be doing a lot more tweaking before I’m ready to transition my blog(s) to MT4.