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I hate to be the one to suggest it because it's been mentioned before in these discussions BUT ... wouldn't it be easier to keep two fields:
1) A hidden one without formatting and
2) one visible with fomatting.
It's the ol' space-time continium tradeoff!
The formatting is not the issue here, I was asking if there is a simpler, more elegant way to implement this pattern. The basic idea is; upon a button click, instead of submitting the page, fetch some client-side content based on user input on some form control (checkbox, radiobutton, etc), use that to lookup some server-side value, compare to another client-side value, compare, generate conditional alert and continue with the page submission.
Any ideas? Thanks