Is it recommended that I get better in HTML or use Dreamweaver and forget about HTML because it is a waste of time?
i dunno wat you think dreamweaver is, but you will need to use html to use it. No matter how much a program can do for you you still want to know how to write html. Dreamweaver i use more for like setting up photoshop layouts and then I write the html for it using the split so i can see wat i do on my layout when i am done coding.
Using Dreamweaver in the Design View, is actually not a good idea imo. While it lets you do whatever you want and you don't have to learn HTML, it also puts soo much junk in your code. It generally doesn't look the same in a brower then it does in Dreamweaver (although Macromedia said they fixed this in DW8, but I doubt it). HTML is the easiest 'language' to learn in Web. Also, if you plan to go onto other advanced Web technology (Php, Perl, ASP, .NET, etc etc), you have to know HTML. So depending on if you want to learn HTML, I would force myself to learn HTML by not useing the 'Design View'.
I learnt html before knowing dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is a useful tool but it doesn't mean you can do anything with it (a good example is creating form, which is easier to combine manual coding and dreamweaver script). It is important to learn html if you really want to be a web programmer. At least you have to choice in the future to use other WYSIWYG software, or even code your page with notepad.
With strong background of html, I am now capable of writing asp and php. You can do it too!
Not forget to mention that I learn all web programming from the Internet. Internet is great source of information and many people (like those in this forum) are willing to help.