It would appear to me that the default functionality of the_excerpt() tag is to fetch back a certain number of words from the body of a post and display them if there is no quicktag
<!--more--> AND if there is no explicitly written excerpt in the excerpt field. That all makes sense. But it would also appear that the_excerpt() tag cleans out anchor tags. That is to say, if you have links in the first 30 or 50 words of your post and you use the_excerpt() to fetch them, the anchor tags are removed. Why would this be the default behavior? Why would you want to override the author's intended content? And more importantly, is there any way around this?
And before you suggest that I use the_content() tag, it should be pointed out that if you specifically query posts as opposed to using the loop, you will still have a problem since the
<!--more--> quicktag is completely ignored.
So, in other words, it would appear to me that there is no way to query a set of specific posts (i.e. some one author's posts) and show excerpts of those posts in a lists with their anchor tags intact. Am I correct in thinking this? It just doesn't seem right.