I don't believe that for a second.
None of my colleagues in tech hotbeds such as Silicon Valley, LA or NYC waste their time.
So making a site that is easy for everyone to use is a waste of time?
Most tech savvy people have the wherewithal and the ability to adjust to view a 960px layout without having a cow and moving on to another site.
So you only design sites that will be used by patient tech-savvy people? I wish I had that luxury. Most of the sites that I have developed have been aimed at ordinary members of the public, who by and large are not particularly tech-savvy.
EVERYONE, novice to expert that has taken part in our user testing programs adjusted their browser to view the entire width of the page. Whether the container was full screen or not.
It sounds like your user sample is somewhat biased. I have on numerous occasions seen people (and not people who are completely stupid, these are people who work with computers all day long) confounded by sites that are too wide for their screens. In many cases, they don't even know that they're missing anything, they just get frustrated when they can't find what they're looking for, and assume it isn't there.
The key is having the right content on your site that will engage your customers and pull them in. If they find something that interests them on your site, re-sizing a window a few pixels will not deter them.
And what if they can't resize their window because it's already maximised? Do you expect them to change their screen resolution to accommodate your website? Get real. First, no-one is going to go to that much trouble to look at a website, not when there are other sites that offer the same service/content but don't make them jump through hoops to get to it. Second, as I said before, half the time they won't even realise that there are bits missing off the right-hand side.
And I keep hearing all these UK and Aussie people on hear saying you HAVE to do it this way or that way or its wrong.
Maybe that's because these countries have some sense of social justice, rather than the "I'm alright Jack and who cares about the proles" attitude that some other countries seem to exhibit. Accessibility and usability are fairly well-developed sciences these days, and they unanimously say that invoking horizontal scrollbars is a Bad Thing™. Sure, if you care more about your pretty design than about the needs of people using your site, go ahead and break the guidelines, that's a choice that you have.
What everyone across the ENTIRE PLANET needs to understand is what works for you in your neck of the woods doesn't necessarily mean that it is relevant somewhere else.
Oooh, coming from a USAlien, that's pretty harsh. Not to say damned hypocritical.
The web is global. Yes, the majority of people who look at my sites are based in the UK, and usually pretty local to this area, but I've had visitors from all over the world. If you know exactly who is going to be using your site and what their setups are, maybe you don't need to bother with a flexible approach, but those of us who want to make all visitors welcome do.
I've been developing sites with this formula for the last 3 years and have not had ONE complaint from any of my clients or their customers.
How often have you complained to a designer about a site that you were trying to use as a customer? The majority of people will just give up, go away and try somewhere else. They aren't going to waste their time pointing out your mistakes to you, why should they bother?
Most clients asking for websites are pretty clueless about good web design. They don't usually know about usability and accessibility - that's why they hire supposed professionals, people who know about all that stuff. Of course they aren't going to complain, they don't know it's wrong, and they don't know that they're losing customers as a result.
Do you really surf through top and sub level pages of a web site with a sidebar open? I may initially but you either have to resize your window or close the sidebar to view it effectively.
I don't, but I know people who have a Google sidebar permanently open, and get totally thrown if I suggest they resize or close it.