Originally Posted by m00min
I typically grab the HTML files from Calibre, cat them back into one file then run the lot though a bunch of search and replaces I got saved in my text editor, usually takes me 30 minutes to sort out one book. I don't save as text because, as you say, you're then having to put back all the italics manually. I archive all my books as HTML files, it's the next best thing to straight text files in terms of long term readability.
Wow! You sure do a lot more then is needed to fix things.