I have produced a handful of in-depth manuals at my job (I'm an Oracle/UNIX administrator for a large hospital network) -- a few using Texinfo, a few with DocBook. Over the past 12-18 months I have greatly vacillated in my mind trying to determine a single documentation standard for myself (and, by extension, the hospital). Here is what I've found:
I started with Texinfo because of my near cult-member fascination with TeX (and LaTeX). I am so enamored with the beauty of TeX output that I often peruse manuals produced thereby (whose subject matter I actually do not need) simply to admire the richness of TeX. However, I was pretty dissatisfied with what I considered to be "bland" HTML output. So, I took up the task of learning DocBook (and, my God, what a freaking task that was) and its complicated toolchain. I had noticed the beautiful HTML formatting DocBook could make (e.g., http://www.postgresql.org/docs/9.2/static/index.html
). I also chose 'dblatex' as the backend so I could have LaTeX-formatting.
Although I was very satisfied with the HTML/LaTeX output of DocBook, I came to hate the complicated syntax. Additionally, XSLT seems to me a horror of computer science. Although using an editor such as XMLMind greatly helps, I would prefer to author in `vim' because after years of usages I'm highly productive in it.
Having become so disgusted with all the XML-verbosity of DocBook, I awoke to the beautiful simplicity of Texinfo -- much like a prodigal son coming home. The simplicity of syntax, of toolchain, and of facilities (e.g., easily creating indexes and references). Though I prefer the HTML/LaTeX of DocBook, I realized I could alter the HTML by tweaking texi2html (I am a C and Perl programmer). And my understanding from Karl is that a LaTeX backend is in the pipeline (in which I'd love to participate).
So, I guess what I am saying is that I hope that Texinfo does not meander into XML-verbosity. Actually, I'm begging that it does not.