Should you require that your site be validated as w3c standards compliant?
Again, I disagree that “standards compliant” necessarily means “better”. The concept of standards compliant was meant to insure that sites worked cross-platform on all browsers, but the dirty little secret is that it just isn't working out as planned. The browsers love to introduce new functions that break the rules, think outside the box, and break ahead of their competitors.
Most of the popular sites on the Internet that you use everyday will not validate as w3c standards compliant (for example: MapQuest.com, Google.com, microsoft.com, apple.com, and the list goes on and on).
I do believe in striving to build a site that is accessible to the handicapped.
Indeed that is a win-win for you as well as your visitors. For instance we add something called an alt tag to some images in order to convey to a blind visitor what that image is communicating. On this page there is a alt tag used on the Wildwood Forest Studios logo image and the image in the frame, however there are no alt tags on the various images that comprise background art such as the row of trees at the top of the page, or the bits of ink splashes as they are not necessary to communicating the page’s message. Strict validation, however, would require me to include alt tags even for invisible spacer images. How silly is that! Would you agree to pay more for your site in order to comply with those standards which are meaningless?
Sometimes I wonder if all the strict CSS gurus out there actually develop clients’ web sites for a living or just blog and twitter all day about their coding prowess.
Wildwood WILL only use CSS for practical purposes and where we think it enhances your site. We don't think of this as breaking the rules, but daring to not follow a crowd who think they know it all.... I can assure you that we are not alone.