DSLR Users: What's your favorite mode to shoot in?
Of course you select the mode based upon the environment and type of shoot, but many photographers walk around with one mode for the bulk of their day to day shooting.
I find myself using Aperture Priority more than anything else, particularly for still shots. Being able to take shots in a wide variety of lighting scenarios where flash isn't practical or useful makes this the most versatile mode for the type of shooting I do. Noise can be a problem at the higher ISO's of course, but I find that the 10MP resolution of my D80 allows such pixel density at smaller image sizes to hide the noise even at ISO 1600. My D80 will do 3200 (Hi) but I haven't tried it yet -- 1600 has worked well enough so far. Only when viewing the images full-size does the high ISO noise really appear noticeable, and there are some very effective post-processing tools for cleaning up noise too.
According to some photographers, the D80 tends to over-expose at default EV 0 setting, so some suggest bumping EV down to -0.3 or -0.7 for most routine shots, while bumping up the saturation and color mode in the advanced settings. I've been shooting that way for several weeks now, and like what I'm seeing, so that seems like sound advice.
When my new tripod legs and ball head arrive, I want to play around with taking some long exposure night shots, and perhaps do some HD experimentation too. Looks like I'll need to get the Nikon cable release, since my wireless remote requires me to be in front of the camera. Until then I can use the shutter delay I guess, to fire the wireless remote and then get out of the way.
I lean towards Aperature Priority, and I keep the ISO set as low as I think I can get away with given the lighting conditions.
The reason for my choice of Aperature Priority is really because that's what I know the most about. I have a good understanding of how it changes my shot, etc. But I do mostly still life or portrait shots, so that fits well.
I use Manual probably 90% of the time, the other 10% I use Auto.
I'll use Auto when I'm in a rush or I'm just taking a snapshot where being creative doesn't matter.
Otherwise, I use Manual all the time. If I'm out specifically to take pictures, then I have the time to spend changing all the settings myself to try to get the shot right. Not only that, but it's good practice and I'd rather doing the adjustments in-camera than in-photoshop afterwards.
If and when I get a bigger card, I'll likely start to shoot RAW and see just how much I can do in photoshop, but I feel like I'm cheating when I spend too much time in there.
I use program, as that's one Ken Rockwell suggested in his D40 guide. I'm a total newb, so, I'm relying on his guide as a starting point.
I also use aperture priority most of the time. I haven't looked into program mode but should maybe try it out.