I've never grown anything but Jack o'Lantern pumpkins, not anything special for eating. Once I got past the idea that I could grow the 110 day varieties , I've never had any real problem with them. The vines may have powdery mildew late in the season but that's more of a problem with the zucchini. They grow well and I've got something for Halloween! (With the 110 day varieties they were green Jack o'Lanterns . No more of that!)
A couple of months ago, I carried a nice pumpkin up from the basement shelves where it was keeping company with winter squash and doing a fine job of surviving about 2 months off the vine. It was used for both dessert bread and yeast bread - a couple of good choices for pumpkins.
Over several years, I've been trying some different ways to make use of pumpkin in the kitchen. I might as well tell you that I prefer winter squash for pie. We still call it "pumpkin pie" but C. maxima just adds a tremendous amount of flavor to that dessert.
Pumpkin makes pretty darn good soup, however! I've used it as a substitute for squash in Butternut Bisque, mmm mm! Here's an idea: if you have tried or wanted to try a zucchini soup recipe ... substitute pumpkin for the zucchini. I bet you will be pleased.
Years ago, I grew a naked seed squash. I wasn't really happy with the seeds. Recently, I learned that pumpkin seed oil is common in eastern Europe. Really? I've eaten a few toasted pumpkin seeds. If I could figure out how to get at the kernels without sitting around cracking the seeds with my teeth - maybe I could make some use of them, even beyond snacking! The USDA tells us that they are 30% protein!
What are your thoughts about using pumpkins as a vegetable? Oh yeah, I still set them out to scare the kids at Halloween .