There was a discussion on the newsgroups about draggable placedholders and zones. The long term strategic direction should be to use .NET Framwork 2.0 Web Parts.Check out the post for a ZIP of three screenshots... these are screenshots worth getting... I can't wait to see this! One thing came to mind: "Holy crap, this thing is free & the source code is available?"
Until then, MCMS.Rapid provides a tactical solution to this. With Rapid - the template is an XML file (plus a base template XML file) that defines the panels (i.e. zones) and the components (i.e. parts) within each panel.
You can create this with notepad but there is an alternative ... there will be an application called the "Definer" which can be invoked from the Web Author console. This will allow non techies to define templates i.e. specify the panels and the components on each panel.
The plan is the Definer will be used for page templates, metadata, form templates and database management tasks for categories and taxomony.
Don't forget to check out the RSS feed for MCMS.Rapid.