I never thought I'd say this, but - I LOVE my clicker.
When I first joined here I really had a hard time grasping the whole concept of clicker training, but now I find it to be sooo much fun for both me and
the dogs. I agree w/Erin that the dogs seem to pick up things much faster when you use a clicker to mark/shape a desired behavior... it only took a little over an hour to teach Faust the "you are under arrest" pose, for example, because he is very clicker-savy and he "gets it" very fast.
I also don't use a clicker/treats 24/7... once my dogs know a command or an expected behavior the "reward" is usually what follows next. Crates and doors also don't open at our house until a dog sits quietly and clamly... so the reward is the opening of the door. Food bowls aren't put down unless a dog sits... again, the reward is the bowl being put down and the dog being allowed to eat.
I use treats mostly to enforce important things, like the "come" command... I don't always give a treat for listening to that, but I treat more often than not - just to make sure that coming when called always has extremely "pleasant" consequences and overrides any other "more interesting" distractions. This has REALLY worked for Seppel, whom I used to have to chase around the yard in the middle of the night to get him back in the house. He is now to the point of listening to me immediately, no matter what goes on on the other side of our fence.
Another example is "playing fetch"... all my dogs LOVE to fetch, but if they don't bring the ball back to me - game is over.
You'd be surprised to see how fast they caught on, even though it took me a lot longer... I used to get frustrated and yell for them to bring the ball back to me, or I used to go and get it myself... they definitely had me
Now all of them know that the ball has to be dropped at my feet for the game to continue.
I am by no means an "expert" in training, but I have found that we all enjoy it a lot more and accomplish things much faster by using a ton of positive re-enforcement... lots is done by clicking/treating to teach a behavior, and the rest is done by the dogs "receiving the pleasant consequences" that result in obeying a command.
It takes time and patience to train that way, but I couldn't be happier... and so are the dogs.