@cornell2 - I totally understand your frustration with the issue of the boxes and sidebars. I'm not only here to moderate but also, I'm a paying client too and I wanted this.
What I found is that the boxes, as good as they are, don't work for everything. Sometimes older solutions and creative ones work better. For example, on my site, which has been online 15 years (so I'm a bit experienced), I couldn't get the sidebars along side the boxes after weeks and weeks of trying. Heck, I couldn't get them next to the slider either. But with patience, I was able to get the slider to work next to sidebars. Failing to get either boxes or soapboxes positioned as I wanted, I dug into it and found they're just designed to work full width as they're presently coded. That's changing in the upcoming version, but in the meantime, I wanted boxes. Worse, I wanted mine to include content by category.
I turned back in time and added tables, RSS feeds and plugins to do the job and surprisingly, in less than 2 hours I had my site looking just as I wanted it. The greatest time consumer there being that Wordpress (not Platform) doesn't work well with tables. They have to be individually styled so I had to research each table row, cell, image, etc. The investment however is paying. I've had a 40% rise in my Alexa rankings over a 3 month period and my visitor time spent on site has gone from 19 minutes 8 seconds to 64 minutes 39 seconds. My Alexa rank improved by over 55,000 and my Google ad revenues have trebled. Even my Amazon sales have risen considerably - for a US site, we sell over 2,000 GBP in goods monthly in the UK.
By the way, if you did get the sidebars working along side the boxes or soapboxes, let me know. I'd love to see how and what you did.
I also found a number of outstanding plugins - Mini Loops (placing content where you want it) and Div Up Content, which breaks up the Content area into boxes you can add specific content to as needed. I would have used these, but my requirement was for RSS fed content from other parts of my site with unique WP