Well, I have wrote one hell of a reply with all my thoughts. You don't have to read it or do exactly as I do, but it's an opinion and some 2-cents from my mind.
I notice your more a designer than a programmer (which ain't a bad thing) and you have a problem with designing with PHP at the Views.
Although I completely agree with you I do have something to say about the subject.
Personally I'm a programmer with some design skills, so from my point of view it ain't a big problem to place code at my Views. On the other hand I do understand that designers can't program (most of them) so they never will place any type of code at the design the build.
Normally a project is done by 3 different people; 1) Marketeer, 2) Designer and 3) Programmer.
This means the project is build by a simple model:
Based on this ProjectModel you see that a designer NEVER does anything with the code behind the project nor does it need to code anything inside the design.
The only time a Designer has to do anything with the code is when the design contains things that can't be done (eg cross-browser) and has to be redesigned based on the directions of the Programmer. But even then the Designer never touches the keyboard for coding.
My conclusion based on all of the above is very simple: Split your project and for each step think only about the things your doing at that time (designing, programming, testing, etc.).
Now the second part of my story
If you maintain the model as explained on the first part you never have any problems with WYSIWYG editors. Although I hate them (due the bad code they produce) I also use Dreamweaver for coding, but without the WYSIWYG functionality. This way I fully control the code and scripts I write.
"But how do I test if it looks good?"
Well, just open some different browsers (Firefox, IE6, IE7, Opera, Safari, etc) and check the pages you build. This way you can check if it works and if all the browsers show the same. It requires a little more ALT+TAB, but in the end it pays of because you don't have to rewrite your CSS after everything worked at one browser, but not at the others...
So that's why I never have the problem of not seeing CSS and/or Images while coding my Views.
And of course, a third part
You posted that CakePHP and other frameworks requires PHP inside Views, which is true. BUT... I never seen any website with server-side-scripting which didn't had any type of script inside the views. Although I must admit that my own Template Engine only has html comment blocks which do the trick, but still it's not what a Designer created, but has been added by the Programmer.
Also the most used Template Engine in the world (Smarty) has some very ugly smarty-only php tags, while frameworks like CakePHP has the possibility to use any type of PHP to do what you want.
Another big advantage of CakePHP (or any other Framework) is DRY aka 'Don't Repeat Yourself'. This means you don't have to rewrite/redesign you code/design for each single page or element. This should make it easier for both the designer and the programmer, because both has do do less work.