first off, I believe they hand coded all of that site, which to be truthful, IMO anyway. To get a site of that quality, it would take months to go from a newbie to building a site like that. If you are serious in doing that I recommend it, as you would probably get a much better knowledge in doing that then doing this next part.
The Easy Way.
if you want a site like that there are many GNU (open source) projects out there that do the exact same thing. Best examples are www.postnuke.com, and www.phpnuke.com . Anyway, that is what I made www.teamsick.us out of, and plan to make www.i-needhelp.com out of.
You still learn PHP and CSS by moding it, you just don't learn how to code specifically.
You know your an html freak when your <head> starts with coffee to get ready for the <body> of the day, and you can't wait for the </body>