Agreed. Excel bashing often comes from web developers who lack real business experience in a gritty production environment.
Belittling Excel is an effective way to burnish one's programming credentials.
I know many languages (Flex, Html, PHP, JS, C# etc). Excel and VBA have their place, especially for very rapid app development.
Web apps are perfect for trapping data. However, output is best handled in Excel. The first thing people ask when getting a report is "How can I get this into Excel?". People like to play with their numbers.
Contrarian view but I see flash improving its lead on html. Adobe doesn’t have to deal with a bureaucratic standards body and can act decisively when making platform changes. Ex: I’d like to see MS, Mozilla, IE, Chrome, Apple, Opera all agree to implement similar features in Flash 11 (and work the same in each browser). Then I’d like to see them agree on new feature sets when Flash 12, 13, 14 come out etc.
I just don’t see how five browser vendors can equal the agility of one flash vendor. Too much red tape in the html congress…