Theres a difference between modeling techniques that work if you are an experienced artist VS. you are trying to learn the software AND trying to learn the art of head modeling at the same time.
Ive taught people to model characters for years. In doing so Ive come to notice a few things;
The point by point/extender method works better for people who already have a good art background. They tend to know where things are on a human face before they start modeling. Proportions and flow are concepts they understand already.
I h ave found, in my experience that the vast majority of people who DONT have that art background fail miserably when following this method. Why? Simply because this method breaks many of the rules that most good traditional art books, courses or instructors follow, namely that you start wtih the biggest, most general details first and then work your way into the details.
Starting with the details when you dont know exactly where youre going first (experienced artist) usually ends creating more problems then it solves. If your basic model, the foundation of the rest of your model, has problems, those problems only multiply with every additional vertex you add. Ive never seen any books on drawing, sculpting, painting etc. that were designed for a beginner EVER start with details like an eye and then build out from there. Its always start with a primitive shape and work into the details. Thats the best way to plan where you intend to go.
If you noticed on the little sections of my tutorial I have up, I start with a simple polygon and at ever step make sure its as close to where I intend to end up later. I layout the proportions in exactly the same way any good drawing book does.
Once you have the basic tools down and get a better handle on the artistic aspect you can skip, like many experienced artists do, the basic steps and jump right in.
Again, this is the difference between an experienced artist using Lightwave and someone new to both the art and technical aspect.
For myself I GENERALLY reserve point by point for detailing in small areas rather then as a general purpose modeling method.
I use splines typically as a way to layout form and flow very quickly. The great thing about splines is that they use very little data therefore I can layout things far quicker then point by point.
Its like sketching in 3D and the splines not only show you a “3D” sketch but they also define the flow. Theyre also easy to change quickly. Patching them is a no brainer. Splines are an ideal way to trace reference loaded in the background if you need the model to match the reference exactly. You dont get the clutter that you do when throwing a bunch of polys over the reference.
I will sometimes start off with a primitive shape such as a single poly, box, tube etc and then sculpt and refine as I go. This is more of a free form approach.
When Im handed a model sheet and its a dead on front and side view that usually tells me to make the model exactly like that. Usually Ill go with splines. If the model sheet shows a 3/4 view of a character or a couple of poses that generally means to make something kind of like that. I will usually resort to starting with a primitive shape and sculpting or a combination of splines and primitives.