Reply to email as text or html instead of its original format

Using Thunderbird, I get very frustrated at its poor handing of HTML.  This is especially frustrating when I reply to an HTML email and it includes silly things like tables, etc.  I just want to answer the question inline.  Maybe that's a particularly nerd thing.  But, here's an example:

> hey, what about that credit card processing account on the store website?
It's done, and ready to launch.

>On Monday I want to meet about our Sony pitch
OK, I'm good for Monday - virtual or face to face?

You get the idea.

So, when using Thunderbird, how do I reply without dealing with the garbage that makes breaking it down difficult?

It's actually quite easy.  Just hit the shift key and then hit reply or foward.  This reverts an email to text if it's HTML and vice versa.