I do use an HTML 5 DTD, short and sweet:
I do use php includes on the page, but that's not the issue. Have always done that and, no they don't get included (header, footer, menus, etc) but the rest of the page would come out fine, not as plain text.
Phranque, are you saying I do need to bite the bullet and put a content-type meta tag on each page declaring both the MIME type and charset?
I said before, off the server, the pages are fine, the MIME type is detected as text/html, the charset as utf-8. As a test last night, I took off the AddDefaultCharset from my htaccess and the pages are still served fine. None of the pages have a content-type meta tag, so at that point, what is the difference between locally served files and the pages from the server? As has suggested already in this thread, is something automatically set on my server to do that?