Prompted by this question I would like to ask the community how they convert their mathematics into pdf files. In any given procedure for converting mathematics into pdf I am interested in two issues: first typographical quality of text and of mathematical formulas and second production and placement of figures and labels within figures.
As a concrete example my current procedure is: latex and bibtex until the references settle down, dvips -o to produce postscript, and then ps2pdf to produce pdf files. I go through postscript in order to make psfrag labels work. I've never been fully happy with the output - in particular label placement inside of figures is difficult.
As a final issue, in the question referenced, Tilman suggests that pdftex has typographical improvements over latex. I've looked around on-line and these seem to be margin kerning (hanging punctuation) and glyph scaling (font expansion). How does one use these features? Do they make a difference in practice?
EDIT: After a bit of pain, I've managed to switch from my previous procedure (described above) to the much simpler procedure of using pdflatex. Instead of psfrag I now use Colin Rourke's pinlabel package. I am very happy with pinlabel -- the fonts are exactly what I expect them to be, and the job of labelling is much easier than it used to be. It is still possible to align labels inside of a figure, and they virtually always show up where I intended.
I started using the microtype package, which turns on margin kerning and glyph scaling. I can see that these change the output, but I honestly can't say that the output is better - I guess my eyes aren't that sensitive. One thing to watch out for - pdftex 1.20 threw show-stopping errors when typesetting figure captions. I updated to 1.40 and the problem went away.
Thanks for your suggestions - if other people have other latexing procedures I'd be interested to hear about them.