Total nonsense, as the wysiwyg editors are all about creating the content and not messing with HTML. With your analogy I'd craft a letter or a fax cover in Rich Text Format or Adobe Postscript directly instead of using MS Word or Word Perfect.
When people get past the naive idea that hand crafting HTML makes a real difference opposed to using wysiwyg editors there would be a lot more content and a lot less debate over how to create it. The only problem I've ever encountered that required a hand edit in HTML was tweaking incompatibilities in broken browsers. This is rarely the case these days unless you're getting too complex on the bleeding edge of HMTL and then again your visitors usually could care less except in extreme cases where the technology either makes or breaks the site.
When I first got my hands on a computer in the 70s I coded programs directly in HEX, then Assembler, then C, C++, etc. and each step up the ladder I looked back in marvel at how I wasted my time doing it the hard way back in the day. True, the compilers added in a little more garbage here and there, but without that evolution software wouldn't be nearly as evolved as it is today. Now I sit and I marvel at why the people hand coding HTML are wasting time in the same way when what's really needed are bigger and better tools to crank out more content instead of spinning their wheels doing nerd work tweaking HTML in Notepad or some low level HTML tool.
For the most part nobody even cares as your visitors couldn't tell how you built the page as they are only concerned about whats on the page, can I find it in the search engine, can I read it when I get to the site - everything beyond that is academic.
For anyone that claims it gets better SERPs I can show you many thousands of pages ranking exceptionally well using FrontPage and Dreamweaver and those people churn out content non-stop instead of worrying about an extra tag that nobody cares about.
It's like owning a bulldozer but insisting on using a shovel because of the 'technique' when at the end of the day the guy using a bulldozer virtually always wins against the shovel.
[edited by: incrediBILL at 5:10 am (utc) on Aug. 22, 2005]