I agree, it sickens me the amount of cowbow web developers out there, I wouldnt even recomend my own brother to build websites.
People cant even be botherd keeping up with standards, "oh my god an extra X, Run away!".
I also wish those who did take the time to make valid websites woudl think about what they are doing, so meany new sites I see are made HTML Valid, why? If your making a new site why not use XHTML? Its not any harder to do and it is the new stadard for a reason.
The only reason I see for valid HTML at all is for quickly refurbishing an old site to give it some kind of standard, but all new sites should be XHTML valid from the start, and I mean strict too!
EDIT: I forgot to add, I wrote a new tutorial for beginners learing HTML, heres an extract "Dont."