Sometimes the time saved by using a breadboard was heavily offset by the time required to double check each connection with a multi-meter.
Hopefully breadboards these days are higher quality... (or perhaps my school just had very old and crappy ones :-)
Get one, treat it well, and never look back.
As a student I would never have sprung for that price but as a professional it’s a no brainer.
90% of the time you're going to have to do a PCB layout anyway, so you might as well start there. Even more so since fewer and fewer devices are even made in DIP anymore.
Nowadays the cost of getting a board spun up is so cheap, that I don't bother breadboarding much, usually it's just as a means to interface a bunch of breakouts using 0.1" headers. It's useful to keep a bunch of SMT adaptors in stock for testing random SOIC or DFN parts.
Soldered breadboarding (eg veroboard) has its place - at least then you can be certain there's not any electrical connection issues. But PCBs are so cheap and quick even that seems fairly pointless. It's very labour intensive for complex designs which would take less than a day to design and layout in EDA.
If you want to simulate logic then logisim is really useful - you can design your circuit in terms of logic gates and then change inputs to see how it behaves - or generate a truth table. Good for checking that your logic works as expected.
Either that or the chips. There were always a few that were bad. So you didn't know if you had a bad board or a bad chip or were using bad paths on a chip.
Filling with conductive silicon is clever too - I wasn’t sure how they were going to add conductivity to a fully enclosed piece (no way to pop in metal bands).
I’m sure there are applications of this that make sense, and ones where this doesn’t make sense due to one constraint or another. Still, this a cool combination of many systems and a creative idea.
With the advent of cheap plot and go board shops about 20 years ago and the more recent explosion of unbelievably cheap Chinese vendors, there's just no reason to waste time between sim and layout. The era of the breadboard is over and has been for some time now.
I think there's still a little room for them in education and hobby design, but even there it should be a fleeting use as students learn the better way.
I recently made a butt triggered pomodoro timer, where I had to keep a trigger under... my butt, after messing with velostat and its unreliable resistance; A simple momentary button on a 170 pin breadboard served the purpose! So breadboards of different form factors as physical objects would indeed help to accelerate prototyping.
A way to design flexible printed circuits, taking into account that the components are not flexible, would be more useful. Design to a minimum bending radius, and bond to something that enforces that minimum bending radius, like a watchband. Orient the longer components so that the long axis is the non-bending axis.