I tend to be picky about code formatting too, but I sometimes wonder where one's aesthetics came from originally. For example, I have a friend who's otherwise perfectly sane, and wants to follow style guides, but insists of writing conditionals like this: if(condition). Icky.
Regarding writing complicated list comprehensions as regular loops; I think this quote from Tim Peters is relevant:
Here's another technique that is faster and more obvious but that is often avoided by those who mistakenly believe that writing two lines of code where one might do is somehow sinful.