Well getting rid of the HTML editor does allow me to display html code, but it also gets rid of all that rich text editing. Using the HTML tab was the backup plan anyway, so I'll go with that.
The reason I wanted to avoid that is because this solution was meant for users who potentially know nothing about HTML but would need to use it (like me!), and I wanted to be able to change the text color and indent a particular chunk of code to make it very obvious it was what I was referring to. Not a big deal.
I'm more curious than anything. Why does the editor interpret code differently than browsers do? I mean, why is it that escaped brackets get translated into brackets and then into HTML? It's like there's an extra layer of interpretation going on.
And for that matter, why can I put html code in a user's email signature, but also enter things like newlines and other whitespace like it was a text editor and have it show like I put in the appropriate html tags?