I view Luke Wroblewski's latest level-headed work titled Web Form Design as a book nobody really wanted to write, but somebody had to do it. Luke makes the point that in more and more cases, it is web forms that stand between your customers and the products and or services they want from you. Anybody who has spent any time at all filling in the blanks knows firsthand that there is plenty of room for improvement here.
Personally, I appreciate that the book begins with "Forms suck." (I appreciate it because it's true). The rest of the book sets out the terminology, principles and patterns necessary to design forms that suck less. Finally, for those of you who have spent more time than you care to admit arguing about label alignment, you'll find a reasonably well considered analysis of the various options that should put an end to the squabbling.