Many programmers prefer text based information for a web site. Perhaps the average person is more comfortable with a web site that more closely resembles an interctive TV experience
I think this is where our difference of opinion lies. This appears to be an irreconcilable difference between me and you, and it would be pointless to debate it further. At least we've both made our positions clear, and hopefully we are at least satisfied with what we've said so far.
One thing you haven't addressed, which is really the main point behind this whole discussion, is Flash's accessibility. As far as I know, it has none. If a person doesn't have Macromedia's Flash player, a visual display, and a set of speakers, that person cannot fully enjoy the "benefits" it brings. This is the main problem I see, and this is why I get upset when sites use Flash extensively. If we want to use the TV analogy, then perhaps Flash needs something along the lines of Closed Captions. Closed Captions are a plain-text stream that's embedded in the TV signal. This allows any device that can understand the TV signal to extract them and do what seems prudent. Usually they're displayed as words along the bottom of the screen. Without basic, rudimentary accessibility features like this, Flash remains a problem.
The original question is a perfect example of this. The OP was asking if there is a standard way to extract text from a Flash-based site, and based on the replies it received, it appears there isn't. Perhaps I should have been more explicit about this when I first posted, but maybe now you'll understand where I'm coming from.
PS: I thought about making this point privately, via /msg, rather than continuing this thread even further, but I decided I'd rather have my opinion explained in full public view. I might get a few downvotes (as my previous post did initially), or this post might be completely ignored, but I feel it's worth it to explain myself fully.