At the moment I use HealBot for my healing activities (I'm a resto druid). When I look around I see you guys love Grid. I have tried Grid a couple of times but always ending up with switching back to HealBot after just 1 or 2 trash mobs.
My problem is I don't feel I have a great overall picture of what's going on. Second, when using Grid I doubled my clicks (and was moving my mouse a lot more) for my healing - in HealBot I just left click for LifeBloom, right click for Regrowth and so on.
Of course you should use the addon suit you best - but perhaps I could improve my healing :-)
I personally believe you can get a lot more information in a smaller area with Grid then any other raid unit addon. It's not really an out-of-the-box addon, but more of a tool to let you customize it to show you what you want.
Benefits over HealBot (as I understand it):
1) The healing library it uses is the same library that is used in VisualHeal, PitBull, sRaidFrames, BunchOfBars, and now in a module for PerfectRaid. This means that you can see all incoming heals on the units from people who use ANY of those addons. They are not required to use Grid to see them (in fact, all they need is the LibHealComm-3.0 lib). If HealBot would support LibHealComm-3.0 this wouldn't be a negative towards it.
2) Click-casting should not be in the addon itself in my opinion. Click-casting has been around for a long time (long before HealBot) and there are some really good addons that work with ALL unit frames. Look up Clique on wowinterface, or Click2Cast on wowace. So for someone like me, who uses 1 mod for my player/target/party (PitBull), and another for my raidunits (Grid), I can use the same click casting mod on both. I don't have to configure my clicks for multiple addons.
3) The power of Grid is in it's modules. GridLayoutPlus can give you a lot of flexibility in how you want the raid laid out. GridAlert can play sounds or show text in floating combat text of choice under certain events. GridStatusRaidDebuff can show you when a unit has a special boss debuff. GridStatusHealPriority can light up a recommended unit for you to heal during trash clearing. GridStatusHostileUnit can show you when a unit is mind-controlled, etc. You have by default 8 different indicators (text1, text2, icon, border, topleft, topright, bottomleft, bottomright) that you can customize to show you what you want. If you want the topleft to light-up red when a unit gets aggro, you can. If you want top right to light up gree for poison, or brown for disease, you can do it. It's VERY customizable. Also, people are writing new and interesting modules all the time so it's always changing.
4) Customizablity of look. I've seen screenshots of Grid that made me think it was another addon. Because it uses SharedMedia libraries, you can use any background texture that any other Ace2/Rock/Ace3 addon uses. That's a lot of choices on textures. The options in the menu allow you to greatly change the look (spacing between units, width, height, etc). You can change the healthbar fill from health-deficit to health-remaining, and you can show it horizontally or vertically. Combine that with GridLayoutPlus and you can display the raid almost any way YOU want.
5) Pet support. I don't think any other raid unit frame supports pets.
Well that was the selling points that I could think of. I might be a little biased because I have written a few of the modules mentioned.
First of all you have to remember Grid is not a healbot replacement, it's a replacement for raidframes, ala SRaidFrames or PerfectRaid.
It can double as a healbot (and it's superior then, combining both into one) if you add a clickcasting addon like Clique.
Personally I see the following upsides to this:
Grid is tiny. There's no other way to put just that much information into such a tiny screenarea. Saving you loooooots of screen estate.
Grid + Clique is more adaptable, it can be used to any spell - not just healing.
Grid is more customizable. You can define your own markers and mark-ups.
It ain't perfect - I have mine at 140% scale, which makes it very large but due to the placement in my UI it makes it easy to see someone dying without "having to look at the frame".
I <3 that, as it allows me to actually watch the fight and help interrupting and snaring as a healer, still easily noticing when some DPSer was hit by damage. Without needing a specialized addon, as Grid is my raidframes, I don't use others anymore.
Grid also got the layout autoswitcher which is just awesome to make the mod more adaptable, and the healcomm to see who's healing what - which is preferable to the whack-a-mole style healing Healbot seems to support.
Comparatively, Healbot focuses on healing raid-damage fast, Grid focuses on covering all damage dealt. Very nice with multiple CoH healers. :)
Thanks a lot guys for your very detailed comments on how you use your Grid.
Your comments convinced me and I'm now trying to setup my own Grid :-) Until now it works very nice where my biggest problem is that I don't know configure in order to see who has Mark of the wild and who doesn't.
I really like the tiny layout and out of range feature works much better than HealBot or X-Perl RaidFrames.
I don't think I'll do any serious tonight as there's so many options I have try out.
You probably want the GridStatusMissingBuffs plugin to show you who needs Mark/Gift of the Wild. You can add each to Grid by hand, and enable "Show only when missing", but Grid doesn't know that if someone has Gift, they don't need Mark, and vice versa; the GridStatusMissingBuffs plugin smartly counts single and group versions as the same buff.
Anyway, here's how I configure Grid. Some of it's class-specific, but maybe it'll give you ideas on how you can customize things for your class.
1. Since I'm not a raid leader and don't need to keep tabs on everything, I turned off display of debuff types I can't cure, to reduce clutter. Debuff types I can cure (disease and poison) are shown in two places: the bottom right corner, which only shows those, and the center icon, which shows those plus other high priority things so the debuffs might be overwritten on the center icon if something more important comes along; this way I get the icon to grab my attention, but even if something else is using the icon, I can still see the debuffs in the corner.
2. I set the aggro status to show on the border indicator. A bright red box around someone makes it very easy to see when they have aggro.
3. If you turned on the "invert colors" feature to have a bright bar with dark background, turn it off. While it may take a bit to get used to, it works much better in the long run. Bright colors grab attention, while dark colors do not. With a bright foreground, people with full health are more attention-grabbing than people with low health. Plus, it's much easier to see the center text and other indicators with a dark foreground, since the text and indicators usually have bright colors.
4. Since I do raid, I downloaded GridStatusRaidDebuff, which conveniently adds all raid boss (and some raid trash) debuffs, saving me the trouble of adding them all by hand. I then turned off all the debuffs that don't change what actions I take (like Gurtogg Bloodboil's Fel-Acid Breath, which is unavoidable and will always be on the tank), and turned off all the debuffs that were curable by me (since they'd already be shown as curable debuffs).
5. Since I'm a shaman, and I'm not a raid leader, the only thing I need to know about other people's mana is if it's low enough that they'lll get the full benefit if I drop a Mana Tide Totem, so I set the low mana indicator to 70% and gave it a priority of 30 so it won't overwrite anything else.