I've messed with both, the query_posts would work if I could figure out how to just get the title of the posts.
Then, you just need to use a loop with
<?php the_title(); ?> inside of it and not the_content, the_date, all those other functions.
Can do query_posts(paged=5) and make the "5" a var so it can be dynamic. So I could have displayed which posts are on which page. Does that makes sense?
Unless you're doing something advanced with WP pages and Page Templates, WP will automatically get the correct posts based on the area of your website that a user is requesting. This includes "paged" queries.
This is easier to see in action if you have pretty permalinks enabled. E.g., the second page of posts for a site's front page would have the structure "/paged/2/". If someone is browsing a category archive, the structure is "/category/cat-name/". There's nothing special that needs to be done as long as the proper template has a loop.
Adding a query_posts can mess up the default query, so if you don't need to use that function, then leave it out.