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@ Simon Jones
1. I would not show 2-3 directions to a client, either, but many, many design firms and agencies do. It doesn’t make sense to develop this way in those arenas. It does take longer and you will get into a Frankenstein situation.
2. I realize interior templates aren’t ‘hard’ to build out, seeing as how the core design and CSS are being developed, but it’s the little things: a change in grid, a new sidebar layout style, pixel-perfecting (and browser testing) little things. You’re right, text is a pain in PS, but not a pain enough to make a major impact on me or the client (as of yet, at least).
3. You misinterpreted my comment here :) By ‘on the fly’ I am questioning how design adjustments (round 1, round 2, etc) are to be made, not making changes with the client over your shoulder. Free hand in the code itself – slice and dice? Designers need Photoshop (and sometimes a piece of paper and pencil) to think these things out; a process you do not receive while throwing code chunks around, hitting refresh, and hoping it comes out nicely.
I say work with what works best for your particular situation, but the post was presented in a way that seemed to elevate its methodology to a higher (highest?) level, which obviously isn’t true. Judging by the responses, regardless of experience or skill level, it’s a hot bed topic. Let’s all rock on the best way we can in 2010.