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It seems like the latter is correct, but unwieldy with a few thousand users inputting values daily.
Maybe I just don't realize how big some mySQL tables get on other sites.
Thanks for any insights.
If it's a question between stuffing more and more records in a table or more and more data into a field, I'll always vote for records unless you can give me a very compelling argument otherwise. Besides, you're going to hit any upper limit for data in a field long before you reach any similar upper limit for number of records.