My wife and I are renting a house that was built around 2007 in Washington State. It has a peculiar wiring arrangement that I've never seen before. Every bedroom and the living room has two switches near the entry - one for the ceiling mounted light fixture and the other for wall outlets. Not just one wall outlet, but every single one. Each outlet is split so the top is always on and the bottom is switched.
I find this to be a horrible idea, because it essentially eliminates half the plugs in each room, resulting in more power strips and extension cords.
My recollection of building codes is that there has to be a switched outlet if there is no ceiling fixture - is that still current? If so, why would the house be wired this way - is it local custom in certain parts of the country, or perhaps just a unique request from the original homeowner?