I think for beginners a bit more of a hard-line is beneficial. I coach 220 kids and get athletes of a wide variety of coordination and skill and even at the highest level (I have a lot of nationally competitive and US Junior National team kids) they are still not quite sure what they want or need to determine whether something is suitable for their goals that are at best loosely defined when it comes to lifting. So I am the overseer that guides their path and their "opinions" generally don't matter though I absolutely ask for feedback in particular how hard something is, anything that may be injury related and general feedback as to whether or not they get the feel of it. New lifters truly do need to just stick to the basics and build a solid base. Forget the advanced techniques, the equipment, the supportive gear, and just have them lift and get compound movements in until they have a base and a working knowledge of how the lift needs to feel and look. If you're squatting less than 315, you don't need advanced techniques you just need to fricken lift and eat. I think at times some strength coaches forget this and get so excited about the use of bands and chains and other various implements that they forget the basics. As was the point of my previous post I do use some implements for the kids but there is a definitive reason when I am using them, and they are most definitely not the crux of the training. When I'm running speed cycles to get them prepped for regionals or nationals we'll bring in bands or chains but change the load so as to prime their nervous system to be "overclocked". Again, there is a time and place for things, and there's a time to just stick with the basics. The more experienced lifter with no desire to compete has a little bit more leeway - though I will say most people vastly overstate their level of expertise when it comes to this. It really comes down the individual and what their goals are. For the non competitive person - chances are it's be "decently strong and look good nekid". Now As you mentioned grip strength may not be an issue for you but I'm sure you wouldn't mind hitting a legit deadlift of some arbitrary number that you have decided upon in your mind without straps. Now as you mentioned improving your grip strength (and this is more the way I prefer) is a solution. I like this and did this myself before competing and I've never had grip problems since. I'll incorporate straps on some things such as heavy rack pulls or rows or shrugs but still leave my main deadlift training - for the most part (again dependent upon how much abuse my hands have taken over the weeks). But because I fixed the actual problem way back when I haven't had to deal with it. For most of those that fit in the genre of people - which I imagine is a good many here - I'd suggest fixing the problems. Sure you may not care about having a big deadlift but having good grip strength so that it's not a limiting factor is great for all your lifts. If your trying to say "I only care about a big back" well then go rack pull with straps. You'll be able to load it up more and get better activation in your back than you would from deadlifting. Ultimately we're all competing against ourselves and it is by the rules that we define for our selves that dictate whether or not someone ultimately believes they should use various equipment or not. You can build a body you want, get stronger (within reason) doing just the basics and don't really need the equipment of it all. It is when you choose to step up to the platform that you are making a decision to abide by other peoples rules and thus should train accordingly.