I am working on a tree-like structure that could be created by either a mesh object or a series of bezier curves. Assuming that I can create the object either way, what are the pros and cons of modeling with curves vs. a mesh with respect to routine things like shading, texturing, uv mapping, rendering, etc.?
Can you please share the picture of the object you are trying to model?
One of the cons of using curves that i experienced is you cannot make the thickness randomized or uneven.. like in branches of a tree they are not the same thickness throughout. so by using curves you cannot achieve the same thing..
There is a tree add-on that adds a tree-like curve into the scene. You can edit the leaves, branches, trunk, everything from a menu. If you want it as a mesh, you can right-click and convert it to a mesh when you are done and make further changes.