I REALLY prefer short stages that cycle quickly.
I particularly like to shoot special classifier matches. I enjoy the CoFs and the match usually goes fairly fast because the stages are short, unless you have an unusually big crowd show up or the weather goes bad or something.
The former match director at one of the local USPSA clubs shot in "Limited" class and liked 32 round field courses. I usually did not shoot the match if he was also the match designer, unless I had the entire day to dedicate to being on the range.
Different people have different preferences and compete for different reasons. I approach USPSA/IPSC and IDPA shooting as more of a training exercise than a competitive event.
It is nice when clubs post their courses of fire on the web prior to the event -- then I can look at the CoFs and decide if I want to shoot that match or not.
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!