I might already know the answer to my own question, but I just wanted to talk through this and have some conversation... I notice different themes are programmed in so many different ways. Let's say I have a website that is going to have several static pages on the navigation and one blog link. What's the best way for that to be set up? With a blog page placeholder using a custom blog template, or to set the static home page and blog pages in the Reading settings?
My guess would be that you could set up a static blog page if you want to be able to put some introductory content before the blog listings, but if you just need a standard blog archive page, you can just use the Reading settings and add a navigation link in the menu.
Which is a better way? I'm a semi-beginner theme coder and just curious as to what others do.