1. The lack of custom XML schemas dramatically reduces design time
2. AHAH can trivially reuse existing HTML pages, avoiding the need for a custom web service
3. All data transport is done via browser-friend HTML, easing debugging and testing
4. The HTML is designed to be directly embedded in the page's DOM, eliminating the need for parsing
5. As HTML, designers can format it using CSS, rather than programmers having to do XSLT transforms
6. Processing is all done on the server, so the client-side programming is essentiall nil (moving opaque bits)
In fact, for any content that is destined to be viewed by the browser, it is virtually impossible to imagine any advantage to sending it as custom XML rather than structurally-correct HTML (with appropriate CSS-friendly class names, of course).