TL;DR - What’s a good system to compile HTML templates and preprocessed CSS? Is there a single good way to do this? Or will any static site generator and CSS pre/post-processor do?

More Details:
One of my big to-do’s coming home from #TEDC15 is to create a basic build system, one that reduces copying/pasting across templates but does little else. (I have control issues, what?)

Absolutely Need:

  • HTML templating (includes, snippets, and such)
  • SASS/LESS variables and mixins (both global and email/post specific)
  • HTML variables (both global and email/post specific)

Would Be Nice:

  • saves .html files (so I don’t have to save them from a browser)

Don’t Need, Would rather Handle Manually:

  • CSS Inlining (I want absolute control)
  • Image Optimization
  • Send test emails
  • Upload / host assets (images)
  • Scaling this beyond myself (I’m a team of one)

Dan Denney’s Emayll looked like a good candidate, but I had a surprisingly hard time getting the initial Jekyll install running locally (I thought Jekyll was supposed to be easy!). I’ve also been looking at Handlebars (seems like overkill) and CodeKit (dead simple but doesn’t address everything).

What system do you use? What are the Pros and Cons?

EDIT: I've also been trying Lee Munroe's Grunt Workflow, which solves a lot. Currently figuring out how to separate local variables/includes from global variables/includes.