I started this list for something else and thought it might be helpful if I posted it here.
I'm cheap and have access to various junk and stuff and things. I also grow a lot of tomato plants in a handful of different size/shape plots. Support methods depend on material available, plot size, number of plants per plot, and how big and productive I want a given plant to be. Sometimes its better for me to grow three plants, each pruned and staked, in the same space that would fit one unpruned caged plant. The question of "which is best?" depends on the circumstance. I included the spacing I use or would use.
1) Sprawling on the ground (spacing, 4 ft). It is best to have something under the plant like plastic or straw mulch to keep things from eating and rotting the fruit. This way sucks if you have a bad back, foliage disease, mice, slugs, and/or are space limited. I have seen described a modified sprawl technique where Ã¢â‚¬Å“hogÃ¢â‚¬