I prefer to work with adjustment layers and masks for D&B, most people have there preferences and they all achieve similar results, but the disadvantages I see in other methods are -
50% gray layer set to Overlay/Softlight - Neutral is 50% gray, so if you make an error and want to fix it further down the line its hard to paint back in at 50% gray.
Using Photoshops Dodge & Burn tools - These can't be used on a blank layer only a duplicate of the background so it increases file size while you are working, also because the layer is pixel based you cant paint back in if you make an error or want to make a change later on.
I use two or more levels layers, one set to Screen and one set to Multiply blending modes, both have inverted or black masks which you paint onto with a white brush at low opacity's. This not only gives you the layers opacity to change for a stronger effect, but you also have the controls within the levels layer itself, and then you can further increase or decrease the opacity of the mask. Another big benefit here is that D&B will always cause colour shifts to your image, sometimes subtle but if your making big changes the colour shift will be easy to spot. To help fix this you can use now use the D&B masks you have painted as masks for a Hue/Sat layer or Colour Balance or any other layer which can be used to fix colour.
Below is a link to download the action I use at the start of every edit, it creates 3 D&B layers and a blank layer I use for cloning/healing, then puts these into a group. Above the group you have two more layers which are switched off by default, one is a Solar Curve which can be switched on to help you see sensor dust/marks or to help with cloning in general, mostly used for large flat tonal areas like interior walls and sky. The other a desaturated copy of your background layer set to Colour blending mode, this can be turned on and off while you are D&Bing and helps you to concentrate on tone only without the distraction of colour. Obviously you delete these two layers once finished D&B and before moving on with the edit, here's a screen grab of the layer line up -
As I said initially, everyone has there preferences for the way they work and how they work, that's important as you have to switch layers and tools often and when your doing a big edit that may include hours of D&B, comfort and speed is key. Download my action here -http://www.mediafire.com/?7jzev7rf0eicl81