How to save site as template for a Publishing Site? I do not understand how this is done.
You can export the template however you must manually modify the exported WSP for it to import properly. Or as Microsoft says, it isn't supported, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2492356.
As others have pointed out, it is not supported.
How to handle this? - Web Templates is your answer - Build web templates, include the required SharePoint features and custom features - custom features can be used to build the site with default content which can be the default pages, default lists, assigning the default master page etc., etc.,
not supported but you can do it simple enough.
goto site -> Site settings -> Manage site features -> turn off
SharePoint Server Publishing
go back to site settings -> under Site Actions -> click on "save site as template"
when saving the site make sure both source (where you saved the site) and target (where you want the new site) have exact same site collection features enabled, otherwise it will complain that a feature is not active and you need to activate it before you can create the site. You need to disable the publishing feature on the target site aswell otherwise when you import the template you wont be able to see it to use it when active.
above method does work. Only issue is you then need to go into SPD (sharepoint designer) -> navigate to the new site -> on menu to left click on "All Files" -> highlight them all and check the files in.
just dont forget to re-enable the publishing feature on the subsite.
this is a tried and tested method.