The question came up on the SAS Enterprise Guide discussion forum: which do you prefer, List Report Wizard (PROC REPORT) or Summary Tables (PROC TABULATE)?
And as with most SAS-related questions, the proper response is: "it depends." If you put these two PROCs in the ring with a Google Fight, PROC REPORT is a clear winner.
Cynthia@SAS delivered a very thoughtful answer. She first carefully separated out the "point-and-click" versus "code-it-yourself" concerns, highlighting the capabilities and limitations of the tasks within SAS Enterprise Guide. Then, for the people who want follow a programming approach, Cynthia offers these insights:
But for the beginner, I think the biggest issue that I've heard about (and it surprised me) was whether they wanted the box area in the upper left hand corner of the table. For some folks, it doesn't matter that the BOX is there -- but I've had some students switch to PROC REPORT just because they didn't like the big empty box -- seriously -- the BOX area was a deal breaker for them -- they wanted the look that they got with PROC REPORT.
The second issue that I've heard about is changing the code -- some people find the PROC REPORT code easier to understand than the TABULATE code -- if and only if they have to change the code. The TABULATE code is more abbreviated and "algebra-like" with all the * and = in the TABLE statement. Even though the REPORT code is more verbose -- the existence of a COLUMN statement makes it clear which variable will come first on the report row, which second, which third, etc, etc. And then the explicit DEFINE statement makes it easy to see what statistic will get used for a numeric variable, the usage for a category variable (ORDER, GROUP or ACROSS).
So, as you can see, sometimes it actually does come down to a "BOXing" match. <groan...sorry>