Back in my day (OK, before my day), the profession of web developer was a low one. It ranked below puppy hater but above Yankees fan on the scale of professional honor. Because of all the tags and transparency spacer images we used, we were seen as crude hackers with no sense of aesthetics.
Well, we may still be lacking in aesthetic sense, but as the Web has developed so has the profession of web developer. These days there are countless tools we can use to make well-written, standards-conforming, and beautiful (OK, maybe not that last one) web pages. Most of the great websites you use today (shameless plug: including this one) are built using these tools.