I cannot praise sh404sef enough on their extension. Having just helped a colleague out that uses a different CMS system (not Joomla) I realise how lucky I am to have sh404sef to manage my website.
The additional overheads used by sh404sef to process URLs using PHP versus apache are minimal when I can point and click manage my URLs. It is stable, in active development and makes my life easier.
For anyone that uses Joomla and doesn't want to manually manage their URLs GET SH404SEF, your time will become your own again.
A big thanks to all the team @ sh404sef (Now Anything Digital).