At this moment I am debating if I should: switch to 4th ed (though I do plan to run a game in 4ed as an experiment); Stick with 3.5 in an OGL form; or Start using Paizo's Pathfinder alpha rules for D&D NPC generated on this site. Admittedly, in the past, I have posted precious few NPC stat block here, which was and still is the intent of this site.
Pros: NPC generation is very easy, as equipment is largely irrelevant, as are feats and skills.
Cons: The SGL is a bit restrictive AND currently Wizards of the Coast has not published their Web Site licensing terms, which I fear may be even more restrictive in terms of what I can include in a stat block.
Comments: I do like, at first blush, D&D 4th Ed, but some of the licensing unknowns scare me. I am sadden by what they have done to the economy (not that D&D ever had any real economic balance or realism). I like how, even at 30th level, a full blown PC will still be relatively simple and concise. I do like how encounters are group vs. group. I also like how it mechanically encourages teamwork.
D&D 3.5 OGL
Pros: Nice licensing terms, but if I go this route I might be restricted in what I publish in 4th Ed terms. A further benefit is the wealth of material both official and 2nd party. Finally, there are a number of tools that make creating NPC less intensive. I also have some issues with the balancing, especially with multi-class characters.
Cons: NPC generation is very cumbersome, In fact I pretty much have to use a tool like HeroForge or PC Gen to create characters. I am further limited by the fact that the tools, for the most part do not produce the Stat block format that I would prefer (DMG II format).
Comments: Creating a arcane spell caster is the most difficult task even with the tools, as first you must select the spells, then choose which spells they would typically have selected for the day.
Pazio's 3.5 Pathfinder Alpha.
Pros: Equipping and creating NPC's seems simpler than standard 3.5. I believe that the licensing is reasonably flexible with regard to what I want to do with it.
Cons: This rule system is still in Alpha, which means it can and will change. The Beta rule set wont be available until August of this year. And given that it is a 3.5 derivation, it may have some of the same balancing issues that 3.5 has. HeroForge has a few tools to assist in NPC generation. It's another system to learn.
Comments: The NPC generation rules are short, succinct and to the point. The question of "how much equipment" does this person have is easily answered. The mutability and current incompleteness of the rule set is less than desirable.
Generic System Less NPC's
Pros: No numbers to crunch, no balance issues, very flexible; Non-genera specific; Not RPG specific.
Cons: More work for you the reader as you are required to create the stat block and balance the NPC with your game.
Comments: Most of the NPC sketches that I have created so far have been of this nature. The Base NPC's do not specify a setting; assume a race; technology level; or even the gender of the NPC. In fact I had some hope that writers might stumble upon the generics and find a use for them in non-rpg writing.
I don't plan to make a decision tonight, or even this month: I've got an Adventure to write.