Great, yet small and neat, article here on web standards. Worth a read if you're still not convinced.
Basically, web standards are (as I've understood it) when you develop your HTML code without layout and use the power of cascading style sheets fully. Not only for colour and text styles but also for positioning. This very site is done with with very basic HTML and style sheets for layout. Admittedly there are things I need to learn still but at least I have a new copy of "Designing Without Tables Using CSS" here on my desk which I will read as soon as I finish my current book.