I use tilesets, it just makes the game less "messy" you have an actual dwarf looking thing instead of a weird colored ASCII symbol. That's really the only reason, I am used to ASCII in games like ADOM, it's just that the sheer number of different things represented graphically creates a mishmash of symbols that didn't make sense in my head.
I can't believe I'm typing this, but: 2020 update: Dwarf Fortress is coming very soon to Steam, completely overhauled with graphics now.
It's been on my wishlist for a while with "Time is relative" as its release date. I'm glad they are making progress. I'm really interested in Dwarf Fortress, but, despite my roots, I just can't into a screen full of ascii anymore.
DF coming to steam's been an interesting change in the development. Tarn Adams has actually contracted out the development of the Steam version, which is a first in like thirteen years. He's famously possessive of his code and as far as I'm aware this is the first time he's ever shared it with anyone but his brother.
Playing the game's great as it's one of the best story generators I've ever stumbled across, but reading the stories that get produced by the community will always be more entertaining.
If you haven't seen it before, here's an artist's rendition of the history of Bronzemurder.
DF on Steam?! I didn't see that coming AND with graphics?! I guess I won't need the LNP pack anymore
Interesting they added an adventure mode. Wonder what the price will be.