I use a dressage whip when I'm teaching Norman to pick up the canter. That helps him stay sensitive to my leg aids and not become dead to the spurs. I don't have anything against crops or whips as long as they're used correctly. I think all new riders should carry nothing more than a short crop, though. Whips are too harsh for an inexperienced rider and are easy to overdo.
I prefer spurs over crops because the reinforcement should ideally come from the leg, but some horses need more. But hey, if your horse doesn't need crops or spurs, that's awesome.