Coming from a Sybase background we always initialise using backups of the primary, never on a table by table basis. I'm surprised so few people know of, or use this feature with MS. It removes 95% of the pain when you want an identical copy of your primary db at the replicate site, or even if you are only replicating a subset of tables. It normally will not matter that the replicate contains the tables you are not replicating, if any. In SQL2005 it's also easier to use this feature than in 2000. It's actually really the only practical method once you start replicating databases which are hundreds of GB in size.
One point from James that I disagree slightly with is about determining the transactional state when there is a failure. It's no more difficult than with log shipping really. TR only replicates committed transactions. If the server fails, some committed transactions may not have been read by the log agent, granted, and so will not be at the replicate site, and you don't know what they are. But how do you know exactly which committed transactions were in the last transaction log backup used in shipping? You don't. So you are no worse off really. Neither solution allow you to know exactly what has been copied to DR and what hasn't. You need to determine it yourself. I'm not saying TR is a better solution, just that it's no less accurate in that respect than shipping. All solutions require you to have processes in place to detemine what is at the DR site. Of course if you are genuinely failing over to DR, you have lost your primary database, so what are you actually comparing DR against to determine its accuracy? In reallity you tend to end up with some users discovering data they entered is not there. It's a much bigger topic than most people realise and as James points out, most people don't plan adequately for using it in a real situation and are not properly prepared. They just assume everything will be there.
It's fair to say that if you have no need to access the DR site for reporting, etc. log shipping or mirrors are certainly likely to be easier to manage in general, assuming with shipping you can tollerate the latency. It all depends on the requirements of the business at the end of the day.