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As we southerners say, you're preachin' to the choir! Josh and I would love nothing more than to make the entire site database driven, hence more dynamic and interactive. Unfortunately, we do not have digital assets for all of our products. Converting all the cat sheets, photographs, etc., takes time and money. We've been moving in this direction for the last two years, but we still have a way to go.
For those of you who may be interested, the way we create the catalog section of the site is by getting an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version of our print catalog from our printers, then using a utility to export from PDF to HTML one page at a time. One positive side effect of that process is that each page has a PDF equivalent that is preferable for a high quality page print. The negative side effect is size and, as you say, low interactivity.