Is it the case that the modifiers don't work "in the same way" ? For instance if I intersect a cube with a cylinder and choose a Boolean difference modifier to it, I can't see the result (i.e. the hole in the cube) until I 'apply' the modification.
Alternately, If I revolve a circle using the screw modifier and change the screw property to a non-zero value I see the result of the modifier straight away (i.e. I see a helix). I've read elsewhere that some people don't apply their modifiers often if at all. However I find that unless I apply them, other things such as physics won't work properly until the modifiers on objects are applied.
Am I thinking about this the right way? The reason for asking is that there is no way to go back and change a modifier once it's applied which can be problematic unless one saves a lot of different versions in a workflow.