The link first, @import second sequence is vital. If you mistakenly define the @import rule first and then follow it with the link tag, the styles intended for just Netscape will be applied to all browsers—definitely not the way to go.
Designers are often perfectionists and, given that someone else is paying for their work, often need to be. The client isn’t (and shouldn’t be) concerned with the ins and outs of CSS. That’s not the client’s responsibility; that’s why the client hired you, the designer. Clients want a Web site designer. They don’t want a Web site design that charges according to who is looking at it on what browser or operating system. Learning and implementing CSS is no trivial task. It takes a great deal of practice, study, and application.
CSS Hacks and Filters: Making Cascading Style Sheets Work by Joseph Lowery