DZone.com: All debugging and no testing makes the PHP programmer a dull boy
In this new post on DZone.com, Giorgio Sironi suggests that "all debugging and no testing" in your development practices can be more difficult in the long run.
By now you have already understood that I would always proposed automated end-to-end and unit tests as a way to substitute much of debugging. End-to-end tests can serve only to discover that a bug exists, while a unit test's job is instead to tell you exactly where the problem is.
He advocates testing because it fits two needs - it's repeatable (a consistent, "third party" structure) and it allows you to find the pieces of code causing the issue more quickly rather than having to guess where the problem is an insert checks. He doesn't suggest completely getting rid of things like Xdebug, though. They have their place and he even suggests some configuration changes that can help make it even more effective.