I understand how most people say experience is better, but I understand your position because the same people who want experience over certification are unwilling to hire someone without experience. Experience is good but when you work on a site you have a particular role and many people end up boxed in their view of a particular technology.
I am microsoft certified for several MS technologies including ASP.NET and i'll tell you it's well worth it if you are willing to put in the effort because of how much you learn.
The difficult thing in learning a platform is knowing the libraries and the intricacies of that platform and thats what certification is meant to do. I have seen people with many years experience struggling with relatively simple tasks. In this industry it's important to understand whats relevant to your job and staying upto date in that particular area or else all the experience will not save you. Certification and experience is a killer combination.