The <br> Element Official References
Please note, that the above example assumes that your <br><br> are <p> elements, this is the default behavior. It does not know that you are using a <br><br> within another block level element. It assume a <p> element. What happens when you have a list of links that you've set up like this?
<p><a href="">Example 1</a><br>
<a href="">Example 2</a><br>
<a href="">Example 3</a><br>
<a href="">Example 4</a><br>
<a href="">Example 5</a></p>
When they should probably be like this...
<li><a href="">Example 1</a></li>
<a href="">Example 2</a></li>
<a href="">Example 3</a></li>
<a href="">Example 4</a></li>
<a href="">Example 5</a></li>
Which do you think is more semantically correct?
What happens when you start a page off with let's say a opening <p> tag. Then you build your way through that page using multiple <br><br> elements to separate content visually. At the end of all that work, you close it off with the </p> tag. Just great. 1,000 characters of prime content all wrapped up in one big paragraph. With today's spiders being more intelligent and looking at semantic document structure, what does <br><br> mean to them? I could almost use the analogy of throwing something against the wall and seeing what sticks, but I don't want to start a war amongst the <br><br> supporters. I'll get beaten down because it is typically the geeks that do this <br><br> stuff anyway. :)
P.S. This whole thing with using the proper HTML Elements for markup goes way back. Even before my start on the Internet and I don't want to date myself here. ;)
P.S.S. I cannot be held liable for any coding practices that WebmasterWorld and its affiliates may or may not use. My comments are those of my own. But, I've provided some solid official reference material for you to make an educated decision. Break Away from the <br><br>! ;)