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Tidy's behavior here is turning incorrect html into correct html. I'd have to say though that I've never liked the readability of those & character entities, and I much prefer the use of ;, which is blessed by the CGI spec as an alternative to the ampersand in query strings.
Well... I've never seen it converted to & in the href attribute; in fact the wikipedia entry on query strings indicates that either '&' or ';' (as mentioned by @mc0e above) is allowed. I'm not worried about viewing the ampersand; I want it to just be the delimiter for and the next key/value pair. it may view better, but from a programming perspective, it makes it harder to see what's going on -- the ';' is easy to miss (I've made that mistake before :=)
& is correct in the query string, but to represent an & in html, you write it as a character entity. With html, an unescaped & is usually not the start of something that looks like a defined character entity, and browsers deal with that. In XHTML though it violates the requirement of being well formed XML, and the browser is required to reject it.