As I have mentioned before, I am a rare repeater user, partly because my voice is so poor currently and I don’t find operating through repeaters that satisfying. Each to his/her own and if this helps you enjoy the hobby go ahead!
At the moment it is far from clear which form of digital repeater will win: there are several competing digital standards and all have their advocates. For now I shall sit back and wait. A bit like the video standards war in the 1980s, the best system may not win. Let’s see. Up to now I have only used FM repeaters.
When I do use voice I use SSB, FM and AM. All modes have their places on our bands. SSB is good on the crowded HF bands, FM useful for nets on VHF, and AM rigs simple to build and there is space on all bands from 10m upwards for all analogue voice modes. A well designed AM rig should occupy less than 6kHz, far less most FM transmissions on our bands. 10m AM, just above 29MHz, is a great mode. I have worked quite a few stateside stations on 10m AM. And I have only used QRP AM. Let no-one tell you AM is a dead mode!