As a new jumper, the problem I have with going by the beep is that altitude is really only part of the process. This was hit on hard by my instructors during AFF (that the 1000, 500, 250 ft. marks are just rough points), but it has the potential to get lost if one is flying by the beep. I started using a ditter when I got my A and I think it's a great tool as long as you keep up with the basics. For me, it's basically "don't get caught by the beep." A few jumps fresh on my A I decided, for whatever reason, to go with the beep instead of my eyes on the canopy pattern and almost put myself long into the trees. It was really, really dumb and I turned off everything under 1000 feet after that.
I can't speak for high performance canopy work, but I'm sure it's a completely different beast.
(This post was edited by excaza on Aug 27, 2012, 6:14 AM)