I came across this post response and thought it would be good to share (and keep for reference). This is quite a good description (with links to MSDN references) of the differences between the various tags used in ASP.NET development.
<% %> An embedded code block is server code that executes during the page's render phase. The code in the block can execute programming statements and call functions in the current page class. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/ms178135(vs.80).aspx
<%= %> most useful for displaying single pieces of information. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/6dwsdcf5(VS.71).aspx
<%# %> Data Binding Expression Syntax. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bda9bbfx.aspx
<%$ %> ASP.NET Expression. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/d5bd1tad.aspx
<%@ %> Directive Syntax. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/xz702w3e(VS.80).aspx
<%-- --%> Server-Side Comments. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-US/library/4acf8afk.aspx
<%: %> Like <%= %> But HtmlEncodes the output (new with Asp.Net 4). http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2010/04/06/new-lt-gt-syntax-for-html-encoding-output-in-asp-net-4-and-asp-net-mvc-2.aspx
Til next time ...