Drupal Architecture: Using File Entity, Wysiwyg, and View Modes to Build Rich Media Experiences

Danny Englander suggests Drupal programmers should use view modes more:

I'm a big fan of Drupal's view modes. View modes are simply a way of defining what gets displayed on a given page within certain contexts such as a teaser, homepage, or view. Drupal comes with a few default view modes, but you can also build and theme your own. These serve as a means to build landing pages and complex layouts that pull in various blocks, nodes, entity references, views, and more.

View modes are great to work with from a theming standpoint, as you can have a very minimalist codebase. I do like Panels and Panelizer for architecting complex pages and wrote about it here a while back. Panels and Panelizer have certain uses that are good, but custom view modes seem to accomplish similar tasks with less overhead while sometimes being more maintainable.