Otto, thanks for the clarification. Do appreciate it. I'm not a PHP guru like yourself. (I am saying this with humility. Hard to accept it in a public forum like this)
But this has to be a problem with 2.6 itself. First, I noticed that the little icon for formatting the image is gone. Everything has to be done with the image uploader interface. The thing is, the image uploader HAD NEVER WORKED WELL with IE7 and though I'm not sure of this, someone just told me, in Safari either. I had to tell everyone to use Firefox if they want to have their images nicely formatted with their posts. (But this problem is for another discussion, not on this one)
Second, CSS, I can understand very well. But, I don't believe it is a CSS problem on this one because the CSS does not generate HTTP links. In short, the problem is not cosmetic. Like what richmaster said, it has to be something that changed in that release.
All of us just want this problem to be resolved. We are all here because we support WordPress and Open Source. My knowledge of PHP is limited at best, but still, there must be something that can be done to fix this on our level.