I was just over at LiveJournal, and they have a simple checkbox which says "don't auto-format my stuff into HTML pars" or something. Make that a sticky checkbox and that's one blunt way of attacking the problem.
I must admit I'm surprised about that behaviour with the dotpoints. That must be very annoying.
Every bit of code is either naturally related to the problem at hand, or else it's an accidental side effect of the fact that you happened to solve the problem using a digital computer.