Is it cheating when you rely heavily on tools like Firebug? Well, I use it. Without it, I doubt that I would have progressed as far as I have with learning CSS. It has revealed so much to me in how CSS affects a design. It has helped me drill down to the properties that make a section look like it does. It’s also helped me get more familiar with different properties and their power. It’s not cheating. It’s taking advantage of a good tool and getting better at functioning with or without it.
If you haven’t been using Firebug, and you’d like to get better at CSS, you should start. It’s free. All you need is to use Firefox as your browser and then at the Mozilla site, get the Firebug addon. It may take some getting use to, but once you learn it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.