OK, so usually Joel Spolsky is a pretty bright guy, and even when his ideas seem wacky or overstated, there’s something true and useful about them. But he’s dead wrong about exceptions. Joel’s opinion (that status returns are the only way to go and that exceptions are akin to the dreaded goto) runs so counter to modern thinking that the ensuing discussion is considering the possibility that he was being subtly ironic, or that his site had been hacked.
Of course, I’ve made my opinion clear on this already. See my article: Exceptions vs. status returns. Update: I’ve added a section to that article rebutting Joel’s points specifically.