Please see my post at https://stackoverflow.com/questions/17707380/exceptional-examples-of-complete-html-css-pages.
I would like some help here in basically getting an answer to the question or making an appropriate question that gets the answer I'm seeking. I don't agree that the question as intended actually violates the tenets of SO, but I can almost see how it could be misunderstood as such.
The need, in a nutshell, is: a highly "usable" reference for good current HTML/CSS, and I think exemplars are one of the most usable ways of accomplishing this. Hopefully this can be made into a valid SO question, since SO is the site that provides reliable answers to technical questions about computer software development.
The trouble with HTML/CSS is that people have a million ways of hacking pages together despite the very well-defined standards for how you should use the technologies. 99.99% of HTML/CSS that has been written and is currently "in the wild" is an atrociously bad approximation of how those technologies are supposed to be used, as are 99% of tutorials and other ways of learning how to make HTML/CSS.
That, coupled with the fact that the technologies keep getting improved, and that we are now at a point in history when the latest HTML/CSS technologies haven't had that much time for people to start using them properly, makes the need for good examples of their proper use quite high. Part of it is a matter of making an individual page "do the right thing" by using the technologies as they were intended, part of it is making the whole heterogenous web "do the right thing" by using the tech as it was intended, and part of it is just saving people from very badly reinventing lots of wheels.
Of course I know that tutorials and examples of "best practices" or "correct usage" for particular features of these technologies are a dime a dozen. Like the majority of people on SO, I have over ten years of experience making HTML/CSS. But, beside the fact that these tutorials typically contradict each other and are typically very badly written, they are by nature much more difficult to use than just studying a complete page of some particular type that is written using code and conventions (and comments?) rigorously verified by the expertise of crowds, such that if I want to know how to do Thing X, I can just look at the code and see how the best of the best do it and how the W3C probably intended it to be done.
Google and other large companies that make extensive use of HTML/CSS and other web technologies do post quite a lot of exemplary material, but none of it that I have seen is about complete pages. I guess what I'm in search of is sort of a definitive encyclopedia of elegantly-engineered web page patterns that can be copied, pasted, and studied, and which is always up-to-date with the best technologies currently available. And crucially, which prioritizes example over instruction.
Having an up-to-date library of exemplars not only is the best teacher of good habits for an individual, socially it would seem to support more efficient progress in the technology and use of the web in general, especially if we respect as we should the intelligence of "copy-and-pasters" who, being the majority and the diversity, are (and historically have been) most responsible for making the free open web as abundant as it is. A good web depends on highly-granular modularity, which in turn depends on highly tested, verified, and decoupled chunks of code.