Thanks for the info guys, I really appreciate it. Eventually I want to finish my bonus space upstairs and do alot of my own work, or contract it out myself, but I have *no* issues with pulling permits, or having inspections done. I am very nitpicky in my quality of work, so I want to do it right, but I was just curious about the fact I have all these neighbors finishing out their attics and not pulling a single permit.
I don't pretend to know any of the code, but I am confident that all the work I have done (which only consists of adding some wallplates and running some cable from behind the TV over to the wall plates) would pass inspection; all but the S-video run I have from Bluejeans which they says is not inwall rated, but the rest of my cables are.
The only thing I was a little concerned with is when I hung my speakers, I placed them symetrically around the room, ensuring the cableing would not run down the same chase that any electrical ran down (code violation I'm sure, but seems common sense to me). What I didn't realize was one speaker run was right in front of an unused gas line (for gas stove). Too late now though, otherwise it means relocating a pair of speakers, and repairing drywall in those areas.
PS There are also some pretty stupid code requirements as well. At work I ran all the phone wiring for a new comercial building that went up, and the inspector failed it because the wiring wasn't affixed to the studs (stapled). How dumb is that? And sure enough after the construction was complete, I had one bad cable that had to be replaced. You know how hard it is to rip up a cable that is stapled to the studs?!?!?!?