I'm more toward the static HTM pages consuming ASHX handlers via jQuery myself. This lends to a learning curve that can fork toward any OS / language choice as you just switch out ASHX for PHP or JSP, etc. MVC is on the right track but seems like you must
learn unnecessary abstractions that take away from web programming itself but definitely a much better abstraction model than web forms which do more harm than good in terms of understanding.
Was smart to show the call stack and the metaphor talk of technology to wake people up a bit.