But then, this is exactly where wiki would have helped. Within a wiki system such as twiki, I would have just viewed the source, which is usually very very clean. I would have cut-paste plain text, and basically don't have to bother about the HTML markup. The "real" wiki markup tends to be some 5-10 concepts (lists, paragraphs, tables, head ...), so you shouldn't even say it really takes time. (Especially when the help is just below.) It is, in some sense, like learning email/news etiquettes!
Then the next point is ugliness. Since everyone has to use common denomitor, the wiki topics tend to be very bland. But many wiki systems allow templates, skins and inline CSS styles, which can be easily used to give a deadly look and feel. (Unfortunate thing is that there are no good tools, so usually one person in team takes responsibility for right templates, good colors etc.) And web-based publishing is itself a skill.
Then comes the navigation. Wiki topics tend to be graphically connected (as opposed to hierarchy), and so it might indeed be a bad experience. But it is also possible to provide special gateway topics, category topics etc., and you can still navigate easily. (Having a "Related topics" entry helps here.) At the end of the day, it is just a matter of good practice that everyone has to adopt.
At the end of the day, we should realize that managing information on web is as important skill as email, and is already a required skill in many teams which depend on collaboration. The existing skills such as managing information in a file folder or email are individual-oriented, and can't be useful in collaborative environments. And you can't always dedicate an expert to manage web-based published information.... Blogs have helped in "opening" of information, and wikis will help in organizing that information.
One issue is a good notification infrastructure: How can I track 15 odd topics that I would be interested in? RSS interfaces to wiki systems are solving that problem.
So I would say wiki systems are a necessity, and if anything, let us hope that good tools will evolve to make the experience smooth.