I think the method with which we use chemicals is undeveloped or rather "uncouth." Yes in large doses they are bad. Anything is bad in large doses. Even puppies. But I think that there is a solution out there easier than the ones we so religiously hold on to. The methods we adhere to shouldn't be dogma. There are other solutions out there but I just perceive a "holier than thou" attitude when it comes to dealing with someone using chemicals as a solution.
The fact that people think there's no chemical solution is because people seem to revile the solution. I know at least one person who successfully keeps their tank spic and span with the light spraying of excel on surfaces during water changes. There are other ways to go about this problem. Yes balancing is probably the best answer. But there ARE other solutions.
I agree with hydrophyte fully here. A combination of very regular killings and adjustments is the MOST effective way to deal with algae. And it's probably the perfect way to go about it. But something as simple as a mister full of excel can go a long way in dealing with spot algae and filamentous on leaves. If we put in algae control WITH our regimen rather than letting the problem come to fruition and then doing massive adjustments and killings over months life would be easier...the problems if they do occur would be less apparent and would fade much quicker.
I'm also curious if anyone has tried any of the new plant derived algaecides. Apparently they're very safe in large quantities to fish AND plants but specifically target algae. I know ADA has been selling them for awhile but at a HUGE premium like with all their stuff but I think recently some other brands have been putting out a comparable product for much less.
As soon as someone makes a systemic cure for algae I really do hope to see this whole holistic "balance is key" thing to fade away.