I've been trying to push profiles a bit more recently. I get a feeling things are moving further in that direction. I worry that we end up with MDM being the only management method for OS X and iOS in a few years!
When I find myself working on more complex plists using plistbuddy and others, trying to kill cfprefsd, it seems profiles are a better fit.
It's just the "Once / Often / Always" thing that's bugging me.