Yes, the notion of usability engineer or architect has been lost in the term 'web designer'. The back end web developer might think some functionality is too cool, but if it's part of a useless poorly designed interface, what's the point. We're building the web site for our users not for ourselves, and the user interface designers bring that focus back to a project. The advantage is to have a well rounded web team - UID, tech, content folks focusing on the project, not turf. I'm a techie who has become less interested in the implementation details and find the UID/design side of things more interesting right now. Now I'm certainly no artist, so I always add graphic design people to the team, too.