And as Antonio alluded to earlier, try not to think of these files as "top" and "bottom", but rather "before" and "after". Every single web page, no matter what the layout, can be broken up into "before" and "after" pieces at any place in the page. The goal here is to put the page header and menu bar in the "before" file, and the footer in the "after" file ... in between is your forum.
So if you take the basic structure I gave in the example above and insert your menu code where I have "menu", you will find that it appears to the left of the forum.
Publisher, HDTV Magazine
Your Guide to High Definition Television