Personally I prefer liquid design, partly because I have a decent sized monitor with 1280 x 1024 res and the minimal extraneous space which appears at 800 x 600 becomes an expanse of desert at my res. Thus, the proliferation of boxed in designs usually with anal, squidgy text, often fixed fonts, is extremely noticeable and is often annoying. That being said, there are some most appealing designs which employ fixed boxes. Of course, a fixed box design makes it relatively easy to position objects whereas achieving balance which works at several resolutions with a liquid design is more challenging. My theory is that web designers with a print graphics background tend to limit their canvas, whereas ‘pure’ web designers are more willing to use liquid designs.
Eric Meyer’s site combines both techniques.