Ordered List and Code Formatting Conflict contains a nice workaround for code/list conflicts. Why doesn't CTRL+K always inject a hidden HTML comment just in case this conflicts occurs?
UPDATE: I don't think an HTML comment is sufficient. If you type a list, code followed by the rest of the list the numbers after the code get reset. How to nest code within a list using Markdown seems to contain the only complete workaround. So the updated question is, why doesn't CTRL+K insert 8 spaces or why doesn't Stackoverflow markup find a way to hide this implementation detail under the hood?