Before I start I just need to say that I am an advocate of standards but I am not a religious bigot about them.
My problem has never been the technicalities of CSS or HTML, lets face it if you have figured out Perl to a reasonable degree and know your way around half a dozen programming languages then adding some markup etc to your toolbox is hardly going to kill you. Or at least you wouldn’t think so?
Unlike programming languages and their platform specific problems, browsers display your work as they see fit. The user at the other end may see a work of art or a bloody debauchery and judge you and your ability accordingly.
The browser doesn’t even have the common decency to open a window informing the user that it’s made some complete horlicks in rendering our page, nor should it! It’s our problem! if we want people to read the stuff the least we can do is make it as legible as possible for them, its not their fault the browser has a few quirks.
The internet, for all intents and purposes is a new method of communication and like all previous methods of communication it comes with its fair share of problems ie its new, its evolving, it hasn’t reached any form of maturity yet. As an analogy:
Have you ever phoned someone and had a “BAD LINE”. This prompts you into very articulated speech were all the words are formed “just so” and you might even talk a bit louder. Mean while, in the back of your mind you are cursing the weather or your blaming the old exchange down the road for the bad reception.
Without even realising it you will be compensating for the deficiencies of the system you are using with your loud speech and long drawn out words. You might not like it but its an accepted part of the system and out of your control so you just get on with it and do your best. Web Development (Development in general) is like this.
I am all up for standards but I am not one to take a pop at something because it has not been done “Just So”. Implementing standards is a process and there is no need get all religious about it.