Note that there is a difference between SNOT and Studless.
Studless is the overdone, tiled-to-all-ends no-studs-showing nonsense, and I dislike this (mostly). But SNOT is actually orienting the physical position of the brick. Water bases are often done like this. More on that later.
SNOT, in my eyes, adds a fantastic depth to builds when done properly. As an example, check out Tiberium Blue's brilliant "The Clumsy Jester"
. The walls are built of sideways plates with tiles, allowing for greater freedom with the stone patterns and an interesting wall shape that may have been harder with vertically oriented bricks. Water is often done like this because it adds contrast to the studdy land.
Of course, SNOT like that also opens up other challenges- for instance, how do you add a floor or walkway to something that's not a straight wall? It's bad enough when the wall is studs up, but when you have to tie them into a wall built with the studs outward, it becomes more interesting. The result is either shoddy and painful to look at, or a stroke of brilliance as pleasing to the eyes as... something else that's pleasing to the eyes. Uh, like, the... Mona Lisa?
But it can easily be overdone, and worse, it can be used as a crutch. SNOT doesn't make a creation inherently awesome. Studs up is still cool, y'all.
Studless, I dislike for the most part. It has it's place- in a lot of cases it can help to give a smoother look, or a contrast to a studdy part somewhere else (like a tiled stone road against studded grass). But this is even easier to overdo, and in a lot of cases (the tops of slopes, for instance; sand; grass; dirt) it looks awful. It can be neat if done right, but doing it right requires very careful moderation. Keep it in check, or ur doin it rong.
'Course, that's just my view of it all. I know some people really like their tiled surfaces, and others swear by SNOT as the only thing that makes a good MOC. (they're wrong ;] )
hocrap long post...