I've been trying to decide how to handle saving game data. At first I was using plaintext which is quick and straight forward but also very, very ugly. I wanted to delve into the world of XML to save data since although it is a bit slower since it has to run through an XML parser (albeit custom built) but definitely the more elegant of the two. Also, since XML can be ported so easily it could, with very little effort, have a second life in a completely different form, ie. a graphical game instead of textual.
So the argument comes down to quick and dirty or elegant and portable. Which would you choose, or have you found to be successful?