To the contrary, IE DOES create some empty text nodes...
Ever try placing what should be two, horizontally adjacent images into the HTML?
IE renders a space between the two this way. You have to do this:
<img src="pic1.jpg"><img src="pic2.jpg">
To elminate the space...
In short, IE makes them too...just not nearly as many as Gecko.
P.S. I have my own whitespace cleaner that I made a bit ago (very similar, but then, wouldn't it be?)...I've used it quite extensively and even on large HTML pages I've never seen it take longer than .5 secs. (AMD 650Mhz) I think even in today's broadband plentiful internet world, most people are patient enough for that.