pageoneresults - 9:55 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)
The tables aren't an issue unless you're just an HTML code snob, it displays, it's universal and usually easier to control cross platform than CSS hence the flood of issues about positioning in the CSS thread.
Yes, the <table>s are an issue and it has nothing to do with being an HTML code snob and everything to do with semantics. While I agree that <table>s have their place, I don't think this environment is best for their use. The layout here could be easily achieved using <div>s, lists and all of the other semantically correct elements.
Too many folks over-complicate CSS layouts, I see it in day in and day out. They'll use all sorts of CSS hackery to make things work. It usually comes down to the knowledge of the person designing the layout. There are many different ways to skin this cat. I'm sure one of those is the ultimate layout for WebmasterWorld and I don't think it would contain <table>s for presentation.
The folks at WebmasterWorld are one of a handful I know that use an HTML 3.2 DOCTYPE over at PubCon. Talk about old school, geez! :)
HTML5 is about as backwards compatible as it gets. Why do you think Google have now switched to the HTML5 DOCTYPE? And, Google are starting to validate their documents. Don't believe me? See for yourself! ;)
^ That just went valid in the month of 2010 May.