How about a :without_type_cast => true option for validations?

One of the annoying problems with validations is that they are always applied after typecasting. This means, for instance, that the :only_integer option is effectively a no-op for an integer AR attribute. Whatever digits the user thought they were entering have already been lost before the validation can see the problem. This can be worked around, but it’s awkward and kludgey.

A clean way to handle this would be to have a :before_type_cast option that runs the validation against the _before_type_cast attribute, but still associates the error with the regular attribute.

I would love to see this happen, I remember I had to do something like that for a few times in the past.