People are simply not getting their job done fast enough. Just because we've hacked and hacked to the point of getting used to it, doesn't mean our way of writing web apps is the best way. In the end it about delivering to end users or paying clients, and they care more about what you deliver than how. I'm not saying we are working slower than before, it's the opposite, new tools makes web development less annoying. But I am saying that we get less work done in relation to the expectations.
So what do they expect? Well, they want flashy effects. The want application behavior. They want snappy response times, bright colors, and "Wow!"-reactions. For our clients, the web is getting more crowded every day and they need to fight harder and harder for people's attention. That means you need to fight harder on their behalf.
Say you are a pro open standards developer, like me. What tools do you have to grab people's attention? Valid HTML? DIVs with fading color? AJAX? No way man. A good Flash developer can get a wow reaction by the time you've chosen doctype (or at least by the time you've booted IE6).
You say that standards have to take time. That everyone needs to come together and thoroughly discuss important issues. The right committees and councils needs to be formed. Meanwhile Microsoft prepares for the release of Silverlight 2.
Have you no sense of urgency?