(once again, this is a response to DC's post below, but I still don't know how to put pictures in a response)
I used to joke that PowerPoint was great if you only had ten minutes to put together a two hour presentation.
However just because you can be simple in PPT, doesn't mean you have to.
Moreover, homework and reports should be visual as often (if not more) than a stream of text. Visual work is often more rigorous, more succint, more complete, more challenging to authors, and better able to present interesting systems/relationships. I even hope visual content creators will think in terms of situational awareness and available options, whether for a historical figure or a potential customer.
Here are some more dense charts I have created (and I apologize for the repeats for long terms readers of the blog).
And techincally, I have found that PowerPoint is a very good authoring environment for producing charts that, as long as there are no pictures, are small (in size) when embedded in Word, and looks great when converted to a pdf.