a) As I mentioned in my first reply in this thread, you need to examine the stylesheet of the theme to understand what the theme imposes (which means what you may need to change or override). The defaults in Twenty Ten are:
table: 100% width, 1px light grey border around
each cell: top and bottom padding 6px, left and right padding 24px, 1px light grey border above only.
b) Re your questions:
1. Font size shouldn't change unless you specify a different size. Please link to a post or page with the issue in question.
2. The default padding sets a limit to how small the height can be. Better not use height in the opening td tags and adjust the padding instead. Same goes for width.
3. You need to add this in the style attribute of each opening td tag:
border:1px solid #000000;
4. The color is determined by the hex number with the # before it. The number 000000 in Tess's example is pure black. For colors and hex numbers see here:
5. Don't use width in the style attribute of the opening td tags: add it in the style attribute of the opening table tag instead. To create a "small table, left-justified, and put text beside it", you need this in the opening table tag:
style="width:NNNpx;float:left;border:1px solid #HEX;"
c) Could you link to some of the sites you found? If you mean table tutorials, first they cannot take into account the quirks of your theme, second most of them still give the deprecated coding you're using at he moment, much of which doesn't work.