thanks for all the quick info everybody. (my clan is still incommunicado) i'll re-read the past/future comments again and again to make sure it all sinks in.
i accept that this draw tactic is within the rules of the game, this website, or both. (part of me wonders, how far back this particular rule goes historically, I'll do some reading)
I guess the source of my opinion that this is cheap strategy is that, in this scenario, you have given up all hope of winning the game. In any game I have given up all hope of winning the game, I resign. I cannot win, and I respect my opponent enough to not waste his/her time. I've made mistakes and lost pieces that led me to an absence of hope of winning, and there is a natural consequence of this called losing, I accept the responsibility here and lose. I don't try to dodge my loss by shooting for a technical draw, where my goal is no longer to win yet still i play on. There are certain situations where two players are so evenly matched where I think a draw is appropriate (or the only solution, as in kings chasing each other around a board). The game ends well, with two players deciding that yes, we are evenly matched, in a reasonable amount of time we cannot decide who is better in this game. For me, that is what a draw is for, my stylistic interpretation of a basic part of the game.
The aforementioned draw is nothing like this. It is not mutually consensual, it is not based on a near perfect balance in skill/success-wthin-game between two players. It is a failure in imagination of finding a way to win, possibly when you are down. It is a loophole, which I think is stupid, and it cheapens the great game of chess.
Opinions vary, though.
I'm sure there are dozens (hundreds?) of way to get someone into a repetitive series of moves which ends in a draw. Is that really the kind of game of chess you want to play with someone? What if everybody stopped trying to win games in chess, if on the first move and thereafter their main objective was to try and draw the game? What a huge waste of time.
I came here to play some great games of chess, to match my meager wits to someone else's, to show off some moves I've learned and win, or to be murdered by even better moves that I'll try to use next time. Even draws can and do occur, I'll often rematch someone like that because the games get really interesting.
But this 4th category, this loss-avoidance auto-draw-seeking type of "play", I hope to never encounter again, as it is the least interesting thing I can imagine in the context of a game of chess.