I came accross the jQuery plugin 'Masonry' (http://masonry.desandro.com) and decided that it could help with the scroll of death issue and also be a little different. It trys to fit each of the sections together as tighly as possible. When the window resizes it alters the positions of the sections making a different layout depending on the target screen size.
I've attached the code for Moodle 2.1 (but should work with Moodle 2.0). It is completely experimental and comes with no warrenty. To install, extract the 'topmas' folder and its contents and copy the 'topmas' folder into your '/course/format' folder. It should then appear in the list of available course formats.
The configuration of the jQuery for the plugin is in the 'js/masonry.js' file and some css in the 'topmas.css' file which are pulled in by the 'format.php' file.
If I get a good response, I'll make a Moodle 1.9 version and put it on GitHub with an entry in the plugin's database.