What are the general differences between the various table environments that exist for LaTeX? By this I mean: What are their basic purposes? Which ones are the most important ones for new users? Which ones are more advanced and should only be used by advanced LaTeX users? Are there differences in terms of the appearance of the table? How does the
booktabs package play into this?
In short, where will you use each of them and what are merits and disadvantages of each of them. This question is especially useful to LaTeX newcomers, for whom the number of options can seem overwhelming.