When using template tags, I notice a lot of inconsistencies… some things use span tags, others divs, and still other p tags.
When someone simply wants to return data, (a list of tags or the subscribe link) it would be nice to have the bare minimum returned (text with at most, an <a> tag). Minimal markup will just make for cleaner, easier to assemble themes.
I felt the same way at first when I found WordPress, but check out how the functions work and what you can pass into them. Most of them accept a before and after attribute so you can customize the output.