Yes I have had to use this recently, the line-height way doesn't work if you have a larger first letter.
Regardless, this isn't a CSS issue. This is an 'IE not supporting the standards' issue: CSS has had display:table-cell and vertical-align:middle for almost exactly 9 years now
That is a very good point. It's not the failing of CSS that is the problem. Does anyone know if the next IE will support it properly? Anyone know of an MS site where we can all request this and complain profusely about it?