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I feel the star-html hack and child selector hacks are both legitimate: one hides CSS from IE, the other hides it from pretty much all browsers but IE. Typically, you want the choice that reduces the amount of CSS you are “over riding”, and requires the least maintenance.
The risk here is that IE7 introduces problems but no way to “hack” around them. If the star-html hack is fixed and most selectors are implemented, we’ll probably need horrible, inaccurate hacks or conditional comments.
If CSS blocks had their own conditional comments, I’d use them. But having to introduce more markup is tedious, introducing a level of separation for what is often one or two hacks on an entire page. Instead of reducing maintenance requirements I’ve found c.comments increase them, especially on small sites.
This is why I wish the W3C would create a standard extension to media queries to let us just target specific versions of engines.