Now that there are so many MR members, and others, who have installed Tiger, I am curious what the consensus is around here as to which option has worked out best for most users (ie: fewest bugs, glitches, problems, etc.)
I suspect you won't get many who've tried all 3 unless they were very unlucky...
I did an Archive & Install (with a repair of the HD thrown in at the start) and haven't had any problems except for the colours in iPhoto changing colour profiles on editing but that appears to be a general Tiger bug regardless of update version. And a few minor features that I'd like to see...
All I did was an upgrade and I haven't had a problem yet. I do keep my computer very organized and don't add a lot of shareware stuff or hacks. All photo's go into the photos folder, music into iTunes, papers in documents, etc. I think that is the key to doing a good upgrade without an erase and install. All the programs I run are either Apple made or from big companies (office 04' for example). I just didn't feel like going through and installing everything again just to have the computer organized a little better then it already is.
I went with Archive and Install and had no issues. I have read a few threads where people really recommend doing a clean install. I just didnt feel like re-installing all the apps. However when I have free time maybe I will try it.
Upgrade worked perfectly for me... I wasn't going to E&I, since that would mean I'd've had to back up all of my songs (not a big deal, but I didn't feel like spending the time), and A&I sounded a bit confusing to me (and I used to do tech support... I think they need to explain A&I more clearly next time).
did archive/install on both my PM G5 and my G4 iBook...both ran okay, but slight glitches here and there. bit the bullet and did clean installs on both and now they are SCREAMING! everything is snappier on both machines and i haven't had any problems yet. it did take a while and i'm still getting all my settings and registration numbers just right, but i'm happy with it.
I did an A&I, had to reinstall a few apps, but no major problems. I haven't noticed the HUGE speed increase everyone's been talking about, so I may go ahead and do an E&I this weekend. The nice thing about these options is that it's not such a long, drawn out process to do an install, regardless of which one you do. Reinstalling apps isn't nearly the pain on OSX as Windows.
I started out with an Update Install on my old G4 iMac. It was somewhat less than successful, to say the least with a potload of networking issues.
Subsequently, I did the repair permissions etc and did an archive and install. This worked somewhat better, and yet I still have networking issues. I will grant that it boots much more quickly. However, networking basically shuts down after some period of time, I use an SMC firewall/router/switch, and it requires a reset of the router and the DSL modem. This specifically relates to the iMac too because just running my FreeBSD machine does not cause such symptoms to occur. I have not figured out quite how to restore some of my old settings either, like license information for some programs that probably reside somewhere in the archived system files. At some point I will most likely do a backup and just do the erase and install route because I really want to like this version of MacOS X. I upgraded from Jaguar and so far I am pretty disappointed.
I did an archive and install, but then realized I had a significant pile o' apps (plus libraries) that I'd accumulated for no good reason - basically out of curiousity as I browsed Versiontracker or just heard people rave about things here at MR. So after a couple days I saved that "previous systems" folder to an external disk, and then did a clean install.
Both systems worked just fine, and I didn't really see any speed differences between the two. Advantage of archive and install is, of course, that you don't have to manually bring back your keychain, iPhoto library, iTunes, etc. etc. Main reason I can see for a clean install is if you tend to play with a lot of apps just out of curiousity, and so tend to tie up a lot of extra space for no good reason.
If you've used haxies or similar sorts of system modifiers, then I'd say most certainly do an erase and install. But most people probably don't do that (I'm not talking about adding preference panes and the like; that's all pretty safe).
I did an Archive and Install, so far so good. I tried to make sure my system was as clean as possible beforehand though; I got rid of all startup items and all programs that I thought would mess things up. I also ran Disk Utility before installing, and it found a few minor problems that it repaired.
I did a clean install, using my iPod to back up everything I needed (just my home folder and a few apps basically). I haven't had any problems whatsoever. If anything, Tiger seems more stable than Panther was. Uptime is going to hit 12 days in a few minutes here. Spotlight, networking, external peripherals and everything else are working just great.