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I wasn't ragging on CGI's html methods because they don't work in some way. I was down on them because separating content and presentation happens to be a very good bargain. Writing CGI's html methods to produce desired output is a bad code factoring.
And it sounds like your company realized the same thing. Yes, you use CGI's html methods. But you don't code them up. Instead you autogenerate it from regular HTML. (And presumably you could take the original, put it through standard design tools, and then re-autogenerate the CGI code. If you can't then take the energy to figure out how to make that doable. You will make up for the effort in savings on maintainance.)
That works. That addresses the objection squarely.