After reading the following article, I ask which is more semantic, using the
> <hr /> element with a background or using the CSS3 border background
> property?

Well... markup has semantics/semantic meaning, CSS is style applied over the
top but is not part of the document's content. Applying the graphic with CSS
only means you are saying it's purely visual and not part of the content at
all... and I don't think that's what you really intend.
So if you are communicating a break in content (which is the semantically
meaningful concept), include the <hr /> even if you then hide it and display
a border when CSS is applied. On my blog I do just that, with <hr
class="hidden" />
.hidden {
position: absolute;
left: -5000px;
width: 4000px;
overflow: hidden;

I should really change the class to "assistive" as it's not actually
"hidden" from everybody, but that's a finer point. Anyway, with the HRs
hidden from view with CSS I then have a design with very clear breaks in the
content, which is a visual representation of the underlying semantics.

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