To be honest, I disagree with most of the answers that generally recommend LaTeX for your purpose. If your main aim is to publish scientific articles in some of the major journals of your field I would definitely have a look in their submission guidelines first. I know many journals in my field (psychology, educational science) that do not accept
tex files at all. Nor do they accept
PDF. They want to have
rtf or sometimes
odt. The reason behind this is just their publishing process. Here a copy & paste from my comment above:
Thus, they only want to have the 'content' in a -- for their internal processes -- suiting 'standardised' format. Often they use Adobe products (or similar WYSIWYG DTP software) to set. They just use copy & paste from the submitted doc/rtf files... So in this way the submission process is not directly related to the type setting / typographic process. To sum up, a tex or pdf file would make their live harder, that's why they don't want to have them for submissions.
Another important aspect might be that most journals require you to submit the paper in a standardised (and ugly) formatting style (e.g., APA ...). So you do not need a tool that makes your paper to look nice because it does not have to look nice in the first place. Furthermore, many advantages of TeX (e.g., floating figures etc.) are not needed when the publisher typesets your paper or a certain formatting style is required. The APA style for instances wants you to put all figures at the end of the paper anyway. Nevertheless, I have to admit that TeX might make it easier to stick to the style they require when a certain style package already exists.
Furthermore, I completely agree with Fran concerning the collaboration issue: Unless most of your colleagues use TeX you will always be constrained to use the software they use (most often: standard office suits). In other words, the most often used tool by your colleagues will be the tool you want or have to use. (In my case I often cannot even use LibreOffice/OpenOffice because everybody else is using MS Word. Both are still not completely compatible and will probably never be.)
However, writing a paper takes time. There might be good reasons to use TeX for your own intermediate working papers. Fran wrote about reproducible research etc. As long as you do not have to collaborate on those intermediate versions TeX might be your best friend. However, make sure that you know how to convert your
pdf file in the format the journal requires (see e.g.,
tl;dr: Be clear what kind of formats the journals in your field accept for submissions. So you have to be aware that your type setting / word processing tool might be able to produce this format. If it doesn't it will cost you much time and much nerves at the end.
(Btw: That is also true for figures, many journals only accept
tiff. However, that seldom should pose any problems since images are easily converted from one format into another. At least usually...)