From: Scott Klement
In my experience, different browsers on different platforms don't all
render the same page the same way.
That can be an even bigger problem for "reports", where you don't want the GUI formatting to mess with page ejects. Printed pages don't come with scroll bars ;-) We need multi-page HTML streams to fit on 8.5" x 11" printer pages.
That's one reason for asking for a single HTML to PDF conversion engine, so that you can put together HTML report templates that fit well with a corresponding PDF generation engine.
Simplifying the GUI formatting in an HTML template to make it easier to convert to PDF is less desirable. It would be better to understand the characteristics of the PDF conversion engine, and match HTML formatting capability, accordingly.
As you say, HTML to PDF conversion is not a trivial task, but I think it would be worthwhile - even a commercial solution.