The advice that I've always been given (and use with decent success) is to design for Firefox and then adjust to IE. You can make additional CSS entries for IE using syntax that is illegal and ignored by FF to make any adjustments necessary. I started out doing web design and quickly abandoned it because I couldn't tolerate this garbage. I can't believe it's still so much of a problem a decade later
The day you stop learning is the day you start becoming obsolete.