Both types of providers are telling the truth. What each overlooks is that it is the knowledge level of each user that determines which is best for their needs.
The difference is much like the difference between those who can use DOS commands and those who need Windows to perform similar functions. The command level is faster, no doubt about it. Using the interface makes it easier for less knowledgable users, and is safer. You can't make serious mistakes, thereby creating major problems, using an interface, at least not without warning.
Using telnet is faster, but unless someone knows Linux or Unix very well and is comfortable with the command, they should probably stick to the control panel. It won't be quite as fast, but can keep them from causing problems and will execute the commands they think they are executing.
You won't have to look far to see actual consequences when people use telnet who shouldn't. There's a post at http://www.scriptkeeper.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000781.html
from someone who screwed up a whole bunch of IP addresses by using telnet and not knowing what she was doing.
[This message has been edited by Duster (edited 05-08-2000).]