I know in all cases that the border attribute in CSS covers, of course the borders of the HTML attributes. But my main question is:
For a border like this:
border: #333 outset 5px;
It sounds like you want
text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px #fff, -1px -1px 1px #000; color: [background color of the container]
Basically you set a 1px shadow offset up and left one pixel, and then another offset down and right one pixel, with a colors that give you an inset or outset effect. This doesn't work so well on a textured background as the text itself needs to be the same color as the background (
transaprent lets the shadows show through).