I am writing a document containing many plots. I have used gnuplot in the past and I love it. It's powerful and you can do anything you want. But when I import a graph generated from gnuplot, the fonts and the canvas size need to be calculated and remain fixed once the PDF is generated. So in the main document, if you decide to scale the picture, the fonts are scaled too. So I have to go back and change my settings in gnuplot files. This is an issue because often you want to have a document in draft mode with a larger font size, and a different version in smaller font size. Or perhaps you decide to scale pictures and put 3 of them side by side instead of 2. Here I have to go back, calculate, and change canvas/font size in 200 gnuplot files !
In Tikz you can use option [scale=...] it does not scale fonts, but it does scale line thickness. So you scale a graph, fonts are good, lines become too thick or thin. There are workarounds though ...
Pgfplot package seem to be the best solution to me, with many obvious advantages. If I use pgfplots for my graphs, does it slow down the LaTeX compile time, or increase the PDF size (Mb) a lot? It seems to me it takes a lot of memory and increases output file size too (high resolution graphics?). I afraid I invest on pgfplot and at the end it turns out there are problems with it, and waste my time.
Please report on your experience with pgfplot/gnuplot for plotting 2D scientific graphs (not very fancy). The pros and cons of each, and in particular limitations/issues of pgfplot, and whether it worth investing/switching. Suggestions to solve gnuplot problem are also welcome.