The application I am working on allows users to specify sections, and pages within these sections. They are all related to the same area of the site, so I don't want to hide the secondary navigation from being accessible right away.
I initially did this via a drop down menu. The first list being the 'category' or 'section name' and the links that appeared upon hovering over these sections would be the subsections or 'pages'.
This seems messy to me in retrospect I am currently trying to find alternatives. The crucial consideration is the balance between the user being able to specify as many sections and subsections as they like and making it accessible and easy to use. That may be an overly ambitious aim.
I wondered if anyone here had any good tips, things I should consider, examples of it being done successfully that I can learn from.
What makes good navigation when the user is providing the links?
Edit: To answer points raised in the answers/comments. The page has a dashboard which will display the content that is selected from the links. Therefore most of the space needs to be for such content leaving little room for the links. Hence my decision to use the drop down lists (there are currently two, one for the primary sections and the 2nd which displays the sub-links for the current section).
I know that this is probably an impossible problem to solve, I thought I would ask in case there is an example of a site or method that handles this well. Cheers.