I will say that they are a large enough portion of my general workflow that on the little web-browser project that I co-wrote, I spent time making certain that there would be cross integration of bookmarks between it and links2. Obviously, I consider them not only worth having, but something that I’d prefer to see everyone adopt.
As far as a compare and contrast, I’ll say that I tend to use links2 when I have mouse support. I prefer emacs-w3m on systems that don’t have mouse integration. In the end, this is really about the speed that I can navigate with them. All of my other opinions and preferences are more “chocolate vs. vanilla” and I don’t expect everyone to share my tastes. The ones that I’d strongly recommend are links2, links, elinks, lynx, and w3m. While I do swear by emacs-w3m, that one is probably only well suited for emacs users.
I’d mentioned that these also adopt themselves well to scripting, so I guess that I at least owe an example. Let’s assume I’d like to check the daily news from BBC-News, but only if it pertains to Russia. I could grab headlines with something like:
elinks www.bbc.co.uk/news -dump | grep -i 'Russia'
That may not be a sensible use, but I think that it’s pretty easy to see how this idea can be used to get your local weather or any such web content dumped into a script. Let your mind run free, and I’m sure that lots of useful (or at least interesting) ideas will come. Happy browsing.