Unless the visual layout of a program's code affects its execution, there will always be programmers who circumvent the established coding standards. I admit, I've done it myself from time to time. There's no scientific survey that such standards really reduce cognitive friction when reading someone else's code as far as I know, and aesthetic matters are generally subjective. Make the argument for tabs over spaces until you're blue in the face; someone will just come along touting the benefits of spaces.
I warned achieving a consensus on PHP Coding Standards as PSR-1 would be difficult and that the group's efforts would be better spent discussing more "meatier" topics, such as object caching. Two months later, the proposal failed to garner enough votes for a simple majority and has now been split.
And let's not forget the "Beat Up on Crockford" festival over bootstrap and JSMin. His comments were a bit harsh, yes... but then again he only made two comments in the entire (quite lengthy) discussion and ended up immortalized in the (admittedly funny) Dangerous Punctuation.
Novelists don't all write in the same style; noting the formatting in a section of code might give a heads up on who wrote it or insight into the coder's way of thinking. Maybe it's a clue as to who we can go to for help when something doesn't work. Weak arguments, sure. But maybe so is "consistency breeds success" when applied to code formatting.
Most coding standards seem to target only low-hanging fruit anyway: capitalize something this way, place your braces in this manner, space something that way, etc. None of that really matters, does it? Standards that enforce good architectural design, specific interoperability concerns, etc. have more merit. After all, standards should help make things work, not squash creativity. And if Joe Programmer's self-expression manifests itself as 5-space indenting, who am I to judge?