I change my mining style depending on my mood. When I'm bored I tend to go looking for caves and scour the area for mobs, lighting up every possible spawning point for mobs. When I feel angry or sad or when I just need time to think, I tend to branch mine in a 1x2 line, mostly on layer 12 for a chance of diamonds.
What is your preferred mining style?
PS: I saw someone posted another thread about mining style, but it was really old and not many people posted.
It depends on what I'm doing. Most of the time, I'm just exploring and mining out patches of particularly useful/valuable metals as I come across them. If I've got a big project on the go, or just don't feel up to dealing with mobs, I'll strip mine from bedrock up to 12. With a potion of fire resistance in my quickbar, just in case.
My strip mines tend to start out as 1x2 at level 14, then I'll go back and forth right down to bedrock, so I end up with an uneven 1x12 (I seem to find a lot of diamonds and red stone in amongst the bedrock).
Caving, which I just do for fun, and almost all of my gameplay, although I do branch-mine when I start a world, but mainly to get materials (stone) to build a base, with a couple stacks of diamonds as a bonus; might as well mine at diamond level if you want stone.
Before 1.6 (was 1.6 the one with the beacons? I can't remember), I would always just go caving, and usually to light things up for my mob farms. Now, however, I like to "speed mine". "Speed mining," aptly named by Etho because of the sheer amount of blocks it is possible to destroy in a short amount of time, is when you have a beacon at a low level (usually around diamond level) and then use an Efficiency V diamond pickaxe to mine stone blocks instantly (a bit like breaking netherrack with a good pickaxe). With this method, you can rack up a good amount of everything in a very short amount of time, and the sound of that stone breaking is second to none. :3