I just booked a flight online. I printed the confirmation email and it went 16 pages, mostly full of HTML garbage, before I stopped it.
When all email was plain text messages could be read by any email software. The widespread move to HTML formatting has been a step backward. In exchange for nice formatting we get software-compatibility issues, spam and occasional malicious code. People like me who prefer plain-text email clients have to be careful when we print messages. Forwarding or replying to HTML email involves extra editing to delete the HTML code. (If you don’t delete it, any exchange of more than a couple of messages becomes difficult to read and the message file balloons in size.) Popular email software uses HTML formatting by default; asking correspondents to deactivate it is an exercise in futility.
Increasingly I am using webmail interfaces to screen my mail. Let someone else’s server deal with the HTML crap, image-attached spam and viruses. I still use a 1995 version of Eudora Light to download the email that I actually want, but I feel like a Luddite. Email used to be plain, easy and smart. Now it is often pretty, complex and stupid. I can live without this kind of progress.