BTW, the node you are replying to isn't discussing any changes to how you mark up nodes at PerlMonks. Feel free to ignore it.
The previous related node involved a fairly minor change: Instead of just expecting contributors to get their HTML elements properly nested, we are now checking for it and trying to fix any errors we find (trying to balance DWIM with code complexity/performance). We wouldn't be doing this except such errors can and do impact the contributions of others.
This node is discussing (in quite a bit of detail) how much feedback you can choose to see from this process. If you find it too complicated for you to understand (or it just taxes your patience), then you should probably stop reading after the short summary (or just ignore it completely and keep the default settings or even just try different settings when you get bored).
Implicit <code> tags would make for a rather ugly presentation (and a much less flexible one). I and others discuss POD elsewhere. With LaTeX, would we deliver the results as PDF or just big PNGs? (Sorry, I haven't used LaTeX in many years so I don't know how nice any LaTeX-to-HTML engines are -- but I suspect they'd take a lot more load than the current PerlMonks HTML production process.) Plain HTML would make posting Perl code difficult without using a program to help produce the HTML.
I didn't have anything to do with the development of the "near-HTML-subset plus square bracket" syntax. I don't find it particularly hard to understand (and this was back when the documentation was much worse). And I appreciate the short cuts it provides (and realize it isn't a perfect choice for Perl, a language that makes fairly heavy use of nearly every printable ASCII character).
If you simply want text, then the requirements are very simple:
You later complain about producing links. Plain text doesn't have links, so you need to decide whether you want plain text or not. If you want links, then please stop asking why you can't have plain text. (: