IE7: be careful what you wish for

The novelty factor of having a new beta of Internet Explorer v7 has worn off rather quickly. Suddenly I’m looking at sites I’ve set up in the past, some with very high profiles – and we have some serious layout issues to resolve, like key homepage content just disappearing.
As the Microsoft IE team explains in this MSDN article:

‘Internet Explorer 7 contains a number of improvements to cascading style sheet (CSS) parsing and rendering over IE6. These improvements are aimed at improving the consistency of how Internet Explorer interprets cascading style sheets as recommended by the W3C.’

Improvements, improvements, improving… OK, OK, we get the message. Yes, in the long run, this is great: I’m sure we’ve all spent ages crafting pages in Firefox, only to see some horrendous results in IE6 (or vice versa). Hooray for standards, etc etc. And in the immediate term, there’s no need for panic, as IE7 is currently only in beta, and hence limited in its circulation.
But somewhere in between, there’s the reality that IE7 is now ‘out there’, and judging by comments emanating from Redmond, is more-or-less feature-complete. When they write on their blog:

It’s a difficult challenge to keep compatibility with sites and apps but break compatibility for standards compliance, and we would appreciate you checking your sites and making necessary changes where you’ve hacked in non-standard stuff for IE in the past.

you don’t have to read too far between the lines. The message is ‘hey, you wanted standards compliance, you got it.’ And guess what: now we have to deal with it.
This is your head-start: use it, before IE7 goes final, and Vista hits the shops.