JD_Toims - 6:55 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)
de-normalize it and pull it into an array with one query at the beginning of the process, reducing a couple of hundred queries down to one
^^^ Gets my vote... I run a couple DB driven sites and want speed. I couldn't care less about normalization. I can back up more often and just revert if there's ever an "integrity issue" due to using a single big table and all the info right there to grab with a single SELECT.
IMO: Normalization is great for a bank or somewhere like that where it's absolutely critical to "be right on every time", but for serving a website all it did for me when I tried it was turn a single "grab the info and dump it on the page" SELECT into about 10 related SELECTS that bogged things down and gave me a headache.