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(A little late, I know, but just found and bookmarked this)
Often, esp with image replacement, I’ll remove the outline, and then importantly (!!!) make hover and focus styles the same. Also, focus outline is only removed selectively, rather than on all anchors or whatever.
Whatever I’m using to give visual feedback to the mouser, the keyboarder gets it too. If I’m changing colour and underlining something, focus does that too. If I’m using Gilder-Levin image replacement, or similarly funky setups where there’s real text under an image, I still have text-related styles (either change colour or add/remove underline or whatever) and again, it’s for both focus and hover. Active tends to end up in my stylesheets more for IE6 than for actual :active states.
So, really, the point is visual feedback. If you have strong visual feedback going on for :hover and it’s a focusable element, you should be able to safely remove outline so long as :focus sits in the same declaration as :hover. Less Ugly, same feedback.