The Quote "Many of those present felt more pressure should be put on the companies that produce the websites to follow standards and check their web code, but ..." can't be meant serious, can it?
Quite a lot websites are created for more-or-less mal-designed software with the result looking ok in mainstream browsers (read this as IE and perhaps Netscape). Goal achieved for the creators who give a sh... if the same result could be done in a better way with a bit more work and often half the size of the web site.
And then there are the web sites where the design has to be exactly as on print where the desinger has to invest hours of work of bad techniques to make them look like they should even if the design is not sensible for the WWW.
Summing up we have to live with all those strange web sites and either the browser can cope with them sensibly, or the browser is not as much use as it should. Sorry, but that's life as I see it.