Quote from Loki
I'm terribly sorry, you didn't like the way I said that? Do I need permission to get excited about something quite historical?
Quote from Daviebomba
The new mob attacks you when you look at it I think
Quote from ariwcharles
Three blocks apart is less time consuming than two or another underground mining method. There's a low chance ores or other things you might want will be hidden in between branches. If you want absolute coverage, a quarry or a more advanced mine design is better. The branch mining system I used is only practical if you don't care about missing small deposits of ore.
As for pick maintainability, I and most people seem to use mainly stone picks and bring along a few iron ones for diamond, redstone and gold. I tend to just craft new picks with spare cobble on the spot (bringing along some wood for that isn't too cumbersome). However, a lot of it depends on luck.