Good design of a RoR app's view / layouts / templates

Hi, are there any good respources for good view design for a RoR app?

I have a reasonable foundation in RoR now (for a beginner) and want to
put a small site together and I’d like to start out doing things
properly. However, examples in the books I have, and Rails examples on
web sites, etc, only show cases where a single action has a single view.

I want to have a single composite page, like a portal, that has a header
and sidebar that changes content based on application status.

Various components of this page would be handled by different
controllers within the app (for example the user controller will handle
whether someone is logged in and the appropriate part of the screen to
display differently when someone is logged in to when they aren’t).
Another part of the screen may be displaying feature ads and this will
be handled by another controller and the main screen body would be
another controller, etc, etc. Each of these areas may involke actions
based on user interaction that would cause the screen to update.
Initially I would assume this would be reloads of the whole page moving
later to Ajax when I am more comfortable with it all.

I presume it’s all to do with Layouts and Partial templates but I can’t
find a good example of how a “real” site would work beyond the simple
depot example in the rails book.

Any pointers would be appreciated…