Something I used to find regularly! I discovered all these wonderful fancy fonts that I wanted to use anywhere and everywhere, only to discover that unless they were in the default system of "other" computers, they wouldn't be visible.
If you have found a font that you really want to use, I suggest that you create headings/titles etc. as images. That way you will definitely get the font and size you want. Try to use good quality fonts for this option though as you will need to keep the "weight" of the image low for fast uploading.
Otherwise for regular copy text, it is often best to stick to the old favourites such as Verdana, Gill Sans and similar. You could go and look in your own computer and see what it has on board as default fonts to get a better idea of what you can be certain to find on most pcs. Maybe check around a few friends and see what they have too - that way you will be more certain of your results.
It is also very true that everyone can set their own pc to personalized preferences, so you will never be absolutely sure to get it right. Just go into your own pc and change the size of the characters to understand better what I mean. It is quite a good idea to set the font size to a minus setting eg. "font size = -1" which gives you just a little more control. If you are using style sheets that is another way of keeping a bit more control on the finished results.
I understand your frustration, but keep at it! I'm using big talk here, but I continue to make terrible mistakes myself!
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