Fotiman - 2:06 pm on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)
since W3C has 'dropped' the target='_blank' attribute
Says who where? I thought that whole issue was settled years ago.
It was deprecated in HTML 4.01. Looking at the HTML 4.01 Strict DTD [w3.org] you'll find that it's missing from the <!ATTLIST A ...> section. The HTML 4.01 Transitional DTD [w3.org] includes it because the Transitional DTD includes deprecated elements and attributes.
In HTML5 it is no longer deprecated.
With that said, though, there are still good usability arguments to be made for not using it (and of course, there are also some valid cases for using it as well).