Arguments over what is best
will always go all night.
If you are interested in digging into alternatives and possibilities, and learning a bunch about backups along the way, get the book Backup and Recovery
by W. Curtis Preston. It has a companion web site http://www.backupcentral.com/
The book covers all the basic tools like tar, dump, dd, rsync, etc., as well as more advanced network backup software such as Amanda and Bacula.