HTML is not a formatting language. If you are just interested in delivering information, this will probably not bother you. It offers enough power to deliver most information in a reasonable, intuitive way. It allows graphics because they can be used to enhance meaning. Although they restrict the audience of your document, there is some information that is inherently visual, and should be presented through graphics.
But some people want more. They want full formatting control. These people are usually interested in advertising, art or entertainment. The fact is, HTML was not designed for those fields. It is a markup language for an information delivery system. It is always being enhanced as a way to deliver information. Those who need more control over formatting should use a different language, like LaTeX, Postscript, PDF or Word for Windows. It is not appropriate to turn HTML into something it was not meant to be. The wide variety of available client Web browsers can differ greatly in their interpretation of an HTML document, and vary in their support for advanced HTML mark-up tags. This forces the Web developer to make a decision of whether to give his document flair and versatility afforded by advanced mark-up tags, or defer to the lowest common denominator of client browsers, to enable the widest possible audience.
HTML is excellent as a markup language for an information delivery system. There is another standard, PDF, which seems to be very appropriate for advertising and entertainment. You can create PDF documents that look "different","special" or "unique." In many cases this is appropriate. But keep in mind that you are cutting your document off from the infosystem part of the World Wide Web. It will no longer be accessible to blind people, robots, people using text browsers, and other applications that have not been thought of yet. If you are an advertiser or entertainer, this will probably not bother you. If you are an information provider, it probably should.