I think an examination of some of the more current research surrounding the use of these tools in cartography would have been valuable.
It might be interesting to examine the home pages of selected university cartographic classes with an assessment of the cartographic value of the content in mind.
I think the emphasis should be on map communication. In time there will be better html conversion routines and the students won't have to get bogged down with the tagging itself. It is certainly useful to understand what html is and how it works but I think the students should be encouraged to use html conversion tools once the first project is complete (its like learning long division - once you understand the mechanics, you learn the short cuts).
I don't think my impression of the network has changed at all.
I believe that the Internet will be an increasingly important source of map data (free and purchased). The Internet will provide broader exposure to the audience that seeks cartographic data.