Of course there are many web professionals that will honestly and fairly detail the pros and cons of how they build a site. Furthermore, they will reflect the amount of work in their fees. However, there is a significant subset of designers and developers that use tabless/W3C compliancy jargon to make their proposal sound ultra official, hopefully enhance their “professional appearnence”, and raise their price.
It seems that tableless is becoming the only unique identifier for these groups. Typically it’s wrapped up in a lot of technical speak that puts down any other way of building a site. I tend to look at it as a bogus value proposition. Rather than talking about turn around time, value add services, prices, or long term benefits to having a business relationship, they laud tableless design as the end all in site creation. If a designer or developer harps on tableless or W3C compliance and doesn’t cover many other issues beware. There’s a good chance they are trying to make themselves appear as one of a limited group of people offering this service.
The good news is that many designers and firms are beginning to use tableless and W3C compliant code. Using it a unique identifier will likely disappear over the next few years.