As the adage goes, “A bad workman blames his tools”. So let me start off by saying that my IDE went aggressive and did something I didn’t mean for it to do. In my zeal for being semantically correct I renamed a file called sidebars.php to widget-areas.php and inadvertently changed all strings of code referencing “sidebars” to “widget-areas”. As a fallout, the string “no-sidebars.php” became “no-widget-areas.php", but the file name remained no-sidebars.php. Ditto for other templates. The result is that people using specific column templates to this date suddenly have had their column templates break.
I fixed this problem and submitted the correction in 3.3.3 a few minutes back to WordPress, but in the meanwhile if you are using a specific column template, please move down to a lower version, like 3.3.0. You can download it here.
As a person who spends a good deal of time coding this, I fully sympathize with the time and effort this might have cost you. Terribly sorry for the same.