Really good post, and re-blogged because I totally agree and I couldn’t put it better myself. I think every writer should read this, because it’s one of the biggest pitfalls of inexperienced writers – and I have to say a few published ones I’ve come across too. I completely agree that balance is key, but the bias should be towards the humble ‘said/says’ precisely because – as you say – the tag is there to point towards the dialogue, not itself. There are exceptions of course. The other thing that grates with me is the completely unnecessary tag – e.g. ‘I’m sorry you’re upset,’ he commiserated. That’s not necessary because it’s obvious from the text that he’s commiserating.