I like to use LCD displays on my projects, the 16x2 is very inexpensive and easy to use, it's just as easy than having an LED display, and far easier to use
For projects that don't require constant writing to the LCD I wanted to save as much I/O as possible, so I decided i'd use a 595 and write a library to control the display only using 3 data lines.
There is an additional library too for controlling 2 displays, by running the data lines in parallel and having independant E and RS.
Yes you can get serial and i2c displays, but I like to do things myself and know how they work behind the scenes.
Enjoy this project?