One of the toughest things about Drupal is the variety of methods you can employ in building a site. Do I use Blocks? What about Panels? Views?? Mini-Panels??? GPanels????? AHHHHH!!!!!
At this point, I am using Panels for just about everything. And I really like that. I can easily move a block around on a page. Recreate the page using the Views, Nodes, Menus, etc. that I have already defined. And then I can have variants. So that is the direction that I am taking. But, this is more art than science so there are a many correct ways to do the same thing. So what works for me won’t work as well for someone else.
Here is a blog from someone (Randall Knutson) A LOT more experienced with Drupal than I am. Worth reading if you are at the point where you are regretting using Drupal because of the learning curve. Take heart. This thing is a beast but once you tame it it is SOOOOO cool.